It’s Hatch Chile Time. The moment to catch and enjoy them is so fleeting, chile heads across the country are grabbing them up by the case and throwing them into the freezer to last until next year. While we can get them fresh, take advantage. Don’t limit your green chile to lunch and dinner. Go beyond the usual scrambled eggs & chile and give this waffle a shot — a Masa Waffle with Hatch Chiles, Bacon & Cinnamon Agave Syrup. (That said, this waffle has brinner written all over it, so why wait until next weekend?)
Two days after being back from SF, I’m finally hungry again. When you’re trying to pack food experiences into a compressed amount of time, you’re never hungry for 3 meals, let alone afternoon snacks. But I persevered. California delivered a gorgeous week of sunshine, practically a heatwave for early October. Ahhh, vitamin D. And not only that, this past weekend happened to coincide with Fleet Week, the America’s Cup, a post-season Giants game, and a Niners game. But let’s start with an appetizer, shall we? The Ferry Building ended up being a home away from home of sorts, since it was so close to the hotel.
It finally rained on Saturday morning, just briefly, but with a clap of thunder that scared the bejeezus out of H. and sent her into our shower and then downstairs to her safe spot. In California it was fireworks, here it’s the occasional thunderstorm. Poor ol’ girl. Skies were still overcast later in the morning, so I slipped on my socks and wellies and headed for the farmers market. Fall had arrived.
At our market, acorn and butternut squash is just coming in, peaches are thinning out, replaced by a new crop of apples. I’m pretending not to see them among the piles and piles of peppers and chiles. And so, this chowder. Poblano corn chowder.
I think it was seeing Rick Bayless win Top Chef Masters season 1 with his Oaxacan Black Mole that pushed me over the edge. If we go to a Mexican restaurant and they have mole, I’m definitely ordering it. It’s great sometimes, and others it’s a flame out. But at home, unless you’re going to make it from scratch, Dona Maria mole in a jar is usually your only option. But now that I’ve made Bayless’ mole, there’s no going back.
Chiles roasting over an open flame is one of those scents that’s a harbinger of good things to come. Like garlic and onions cooking on the stove, like banana bread baking in the oven. If there’s one smell I don’t mind filling the house in the summer, it’s roasting chiles. When you’ve swapped 9 months of sunshine for 9 months of rain, the scent of chiles roasting is even more evocative of desert heat and warm, sunny days. The last few years more and more farmers markets in California have been doing chile roasts in August and September, and finally, Whole Foods will be doing a Hatch chile roast in Seattle, Portland and Bend, OR in a couple of weeks (yaaaaay!!!!!).