Let’s Cook Something New: Stuffed Hatch Chili Peppers

My husband recently brought a new type of chili pepper home from the grocery store. I love to cook with new foods and so this gave me a chance to learn about Hatch chili peppers. I learned that these medium-size peppers are grown exclusively in New Mexico. They ripen in August and September and thus are available for only a few months in the fall. The peppers have a “bite” but they are not as hot as a jalapeno pepper. They have thick flesh and can be broiled to remove the skin. These chili peppers are large enough to easily be stuffed for an entrée dish and have a pleasing, chili pepper flavor. So, let’s make “Stuffed Hatch Chili Peppers” with these delightful peppers. I made two “fillings”: ground beef and also shrimp with corn and cheese. Recipes are included for both.

And I am satisfied with how my “Louisiana” variation on traditional New Mexican recipes turned out. These peppers were easy to peel and stuff. Best of all, I liked the flavor of the Hatch chili peppers– not too, too strong but the peppers had some “bite” and enough flesh so that the chili pepper complemented the filling and stood out. And I found that these peppers were well-suited for an entrée; they were a bit too large for an appetizer, in my opinion.

What are Hatch Chili Peppers?

Hatch chili peppers are grown exclusively in the Hatch Valley of New Mexico. The peppers are very popular in this region and are becoming more popular across the states as the rest of us learn about them. In fact, an annual Hatch Chili Festival occurs each Labor Day weekend in the community of Hatch, drawing a large gathering. The term “Hatch Pepper” is actually a generic term for a several varieties of this pepper. These peppers were developed at New Mexico State University beginning in 1894 as researchers tried to develop a better pod-type chili pepper for this region which was larger, smoother and better for canning. The first variety, New Mexico No. 9, was released in 1913, and all our Hatch chili peppers have this genetic background.

Hatch chili peppers can be chopped and eaten raw as a crisp pepper. They can be added to stews, soups, sauces or added to a salad. They work very well as a stuffed pepper. Their “hot” rating is generally about one-third of a jalapeno pepper, however, occasional varieties are much hotter. If you don’t have Hatch chili peppers available, then Anaheim peppers can be substituted. Here are my Hatch chili peppers which are stuffed with shrimp, corn and cheese.

Recipes for “Stuffed Hatch Chili Peppers”

Although many types of fillings work with Hatch chili peppers, I decided first to make a “tried and true” recipe using a ground beef stuffing topped with melted cheese. That recipe turned out great, so I ventured out a little more and also made a shrimp and corn filling. Stuffed Hatch peppers are very similar to recipes for “Chili Relleno Peppers.” However, it is difficult to bread and fry these medium-sized, long and skinny Hatch peppers. Instead, I broiled the peppers to remove the skin, stuffed them and baked in an oven to finish the dish. I suggest using poblano peppers for recipes where the peppers are breaded and fried. Poblano peppers are large enough to accommodate a filling and still be closed up.

Here are the ingredients for my ground beef recipe. I used used ground beef with lots of Mexican-type spices — Ground Ancho Chili (or you could use chili powder), paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Plus I added just a little tomato paste for flavor, and chopped onion.

Here are these ingredients for my shrimp, corn and cheese filling. Notice that to make things easier, I used frozen corn kernels rather than fresh corn on the cob. And I used frozen, raw peeped shrimp without the tails. These packages of shrimp are easy to find in Louisiana. These were large Hatch peppers. Six peppers weighted about one pound.

For both recipes, I broiled the raw peppers and removed the skin prior to stuffing them. My process for accomplishing this is simple and works every time — and really for any type of pepper. I place the peppers on a foil-covered broiler pan and about six inches from the broiler coils in the top of the oven. After the peppers blister, turn over and continue broiling until the second side blisters. If needed, turn a third time. How long does this take? It really depends on your oven. I turned these over for the first time after about five minutes. When the peppers are blistered on all sides, remove from oven and place in ice water to cool. Using a small knife, make a small slit in only the outside skin. Then easily peel off the outer skin with your hands.

Next, use a small knife and make a lengthwise slit down the pepper. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Keep on the cap of the pepper.

“Stuffed Hatch Peppers with Ground Beef”

Meanwhile, make the ground beef filling by sautéing the onions and ground beef. When the meat is browned and cooked through, then add a little tomato paste and the seasonings. Generously stuff the peppers. I used about 1/3 to 1/2 cup for each pepper. You won’t be able to close the skins of these skinny peppers.

Bake the peppers until they are nice and bubbly (about 20 minutes) in a 350 degree oven. Then sprinkle on shredded Monterey Jack Cheese (or a Mexican cheese blend) and bake just 3 minutes additional until the cheese melts.

That’s it! This is really an easy recipe to prepare. Leaving the slit in the peppers open — rather than trying to bring the sides up to close them — helps. Two of these peppers make one serving. I served my “Stuffed Hatch Chili Peppers” with rice and garlic okra because we are in Louisiana. Otherwise, serve with refried beans and yellow rice. On the side, I also served sour cream and salsa.

“Stuffed Hatch Peppers with Shrimp, Corn and Cheese”

The process for making the “Stuffed Hatch Peppers with Shrimp, Corn and Cheese” is similar. Prepare the chili peppers in the same manner. Ahead of time defrost the frozen, raw peeked shrimp tails. You can use small-sized shrimp (51-90 count) for this recipe. Then sauté the onions, shrimp and Creole seasoning. Add in corn, bread cubes, green onions, salt and pepper and cheese. Sluff cover and bake.

These shrimp and corn stuffed peppers were very tasty, too.

So, I found two ways to stuff Hatch peppers with other ideas for fillings which looked quite delicious, too. These included recipes using ground pork with corn for a filling and cooked chopped chicken, cheese and egg (for a binder). Next time, I plan to try one of these ideas.

I really liked the taste of these Hatch chili peppers. The were milder in flavor than Poblano peppers but they were still meaty and tasty. Baking the Hatch peppers rather than breading and frying them made preparation very simple and easy.

The season to purchase Hatch peppers is August and September. Now is the time to look for them in grocery stores. Enjoy these Hatch Chili Pepper recipes!

Stuffed Hatch Chili Peppers with Ground Beef

  • Servings: 4 stuffed peppers (2 servings)
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 4 Hatch chili peppers
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground Ancho pepper (or chili powder)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup (4 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese or Mexican blend cheese
  • sour cream, salsa (optional condiments)

Instructions and Steps:

  1. Oil an 8″x 8″ casserole dish. Set aside.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  3. Place Hatch chili peppers on baking sheet. Broil in oven, about 6″ from heat source, until peppers are charred and blistered, about 5 to 10 minutes. Turn peppers over and char on next side, about 2 to 3 minutes. If needed, turn and rotate peppers again until all sides are blistered. Check peppers frequently, cooking times will vary depending on oven.
  4. Remove from oven and place peppers in a bowl of ice water.
  5. When cool enough to handle, use a small knife to cut a slit in charred, blistered skin. Then with hands, peel off charred skin.
  6. Use a small knife to cut a lengthwise slit down the length of each pepper. Then use a  spoon to scoop out as many seeds as possible. Leave the pepper caps and stems intact. Set the peppers aside.
  7. Turn oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  8. Meanwhile, in medium-size skillet, add 1 Tbsp oil and heat to medium. Add chopped onion. Stir and sauté until onion is translucent.
  9. Add ground beef and sauté until browned and cooked through.
  10. Add tomato paste, salt, Ancho pepper (or chili powder), paprika, cumin and black pepper. Stir until spices and tomato paste are well combined. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes until mixture is heated and bubbly. Stir frequently.
  11. Place about 1/2 cup ground beef filling in each prepared Hatch chili. Mound up the filling in the peppers. The cut edges of the peppers will not touch each other, rather they will look something like a boat.
  12. Place the stuffed peppers in the oiled casserole dish. Bake, uncovered, for approximately 20 minutes until meat filling and peppers are heated through and steamy.
  13. Sprinkle Monterey Jack cheese on peppers. Bake for an additional 3 minutes or until cheese melts.
  14. Serve with sour cream and salsa as condiments, if desired.

NOTE: This recipe can easily be increased to 6 or 8 Hatch chili peppers. Increase the ground beef to 3/4 lb or 1 lb, respectfully. The seasoning can remain the same. Increase shredded cheese to two cups.

Stuffed Hatch Chili Peppers with Shrimp, Corn and Cheese

  • Servings: 6 stuffed peppers (3 servings)
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 lb small frozen, raw peeled shrimp, without tails (51 – 90 count)
  • 6 large Hatch chili peppers (about 1 lb)
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning or other Creole seasoning
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup stale or toasted bread cubes (about 3 pieces bread)
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese or Mexican blend cheese
  • sour cream, salsa (optional condiments)

Instructions and Steps:

  1. Ahead of time, defrost frozen shrimp in either refrigerator overnight, or in bowl of cool water. Set aside.
  2. Oil an 9″x 13″ casserole dish. Set aside.
  3. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  4. Place Hatch chili peppers on baking sheet. Broil in oven, about 6″ from heat source, until peppers are charred and blistered, about 5 to 10 minutes. Turn peppers over and char on next side, about 2 to 3 minutes. If needed, turn and rotate peppers again until all sides are blistered. Check peppers frequently, cooking times will vary depending on oven.
  5. Remove from oven and place peppers in a bowl of ice water.
  6. When cool enough to handle, use a small knife to cut a slit in charred, blistered skin. Then with hands, peel off charred skin.
  7. Use a small knife to cut a lengthwise slit down the length of each pepper. Then use a  spoon to scoop out as many seeds as possible. Leave the pepper caps and stems intact. Set the peppers aside.
  8. Turn oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  9. Meanwhile, in medium-size skillet, add 1 Tbsp oil and heat to medium. Add chopped onion. Stir and sauté until onion is translucent.
  10. Add defrosted and drained shrimp to skillet. Sprinkle with Creole season. Stir and sauté for about 3 minutes over medium heat until shrimp are pink 
  11. .Add corn kernels. Cook and stir until corn is heated.
  12. Add stale bread cubes, green onions and stir.
  13. Season with salt and pepper.
  14. Remove from heat and stir in Monterey Jack cheese.
  15. Place about 1/2 cup of the shrimp, corn and cheese filling in each prepared Hatch chili pepper. Mound up the filling in the peppers. The cut edges of the peppers will not touch each other, rather they will look something like a boat.
  16. Place the stuffed peppers in the oiled casserole dish. Add about 2 Tbsp water to casserole dish. Cover with aluminum foil Bake for approximately 30 minutes until peppers are heated through and steamy.
  17. Serve with sour cream and salsa as condiments, if desired.

NOTE: This recipe can easily be increased to 8 Hatch chili peppers. Increase the frozen shrimp to1 lb, the corn to 1-1/2 cups and the cheese to 1 cup. The bread cubes and seasoning remain the same. Bake the stuffed chili peppers in two 8″x 8″ casserole dishes.

Reference:

https://www.chilipeppermadness.com/chili-pepper-types/sweet-mild-chili-peppers/hatch-chili-peppers/

4 thoughts on “Let’s Cook Something New: Stuffed Hatch Chili Peppers

  1. Pingback: Let’s Cook Something New: Stuffed Hatch Chili Peppers — beyondgumbo | My Meals are on Wheels

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