Hatch is a small village in New Mexico famous for its chili crops and is known as the chili capital of the world. Around Labor Day from August 31st to September 1st, Hatch hosts its annual Chili Festival.
Hatch chilies are also known as New Mexico peppers or Anaheim peppers. The red sauce used in southwestern and Mexican recipes such as enchiladas use Hatch chilies that have ripened (turned red). Fire-roasted chilies have a unique aroma and flavor and they freeze really well after roasting. This way you can stock up in the freezer and enjoy these chilies all year long.
If you are able to purchase fresh Hatch chilies in your area, I would urge you to use them in this southwestern Hatch chili cornbread recipe. I purchase my fire-roasted Hatch green chilies online in cans at a reasonable price, as in my area, fresh Hatch chilies are unavailable year round. This southwestern Hatch chili cornbread recipe is light, moist and has a nice balance of sweet and savory. I used mild fire-roasted Hatch green chilies here as they are more palate-friendly with my children. This cornbread recipe goes great with my lemon maple or honey butter (recipe follows).
Please read my cook's notes and tips and the end of this recipe as I have given instructions on the fire-roasting process and storage.
1/2 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, beaten until frothy
1 cup buttermilk + 1 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup corn flour (I used Maseca corn flour)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. table salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
4 oz. can Hatch fire-roasted hot or mild diced green chilies (or 1/4 cup fresh chilies, finely diced)
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp. lemon zest
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
1. In a large bowl combine the flours, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
2. In a separate bowl, combine the butter, sugar, beaten eggs, buttermilk and olive oil and then add this to the flour mixture. Stir well to combine.
3. Next, add the chilies, onion, garlic cloves and the lemon zest. Fold in gently. Do not over mix.
4. Pour batter into an 8 x 8 inch buttered baking dish. Bake on the center rack of the oven for approximately 40 minutes or until a knife or toothpick comes out clean from the center. Serve warm with lemon maple or honey butter if desired (recipe follows).
Lemon Maple or Honey Butter
2 tsp. lemon zest
1 stick (1/2 cup) softened butter
1 tsp. maple syrup or honey
Combine all ingredients until blended. Serve with warm southwestern Hatch chili cornbread.
Cook's Notes and Tips
Fire Roasting Chilies is very easy to do. First, wash and dry the chilies and then scatter them on a red hot outdoor grill, turning occasionally until they start to go black and blister. Alternatively, if you do not own a grill, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. and place on a shallow cookie sheet, turning occasionally, approximately 30 minutes until blackened.
Next, place the black and blistered chilies in a paper bag or a container with a lid for approximately 10 minutes. This helps to sweat the skins off a little, making peeling easier. If you are freezing your chilies, do not peel them. Freezing fire-roasted chilies with their skins on makes peeling a breeze when they are defrosted - the skins slip right off.
Hatch Diced Hot Green Chilies are available right here!