Texans aren’t as fortunate as New Mexicans (and maybe Coloradans) when it comes to locally grown green chiles. This is especially true of Hatch green chiles, perhaps the Land of Enchantment’s most treasured culinary export. But ’tis the season, and Hatch—as well as its cousin, the Anaheim chile—is everywhere. From supermarket specials and taquerias to Mexican food institutions and craft breweries, here are several delectable ways to get your fix of New Mexico’s best-known chile right now.
Resident Taqueria’s Hatch Chile Relleno Taco
I have a soft spot for chile relleno tacos. They’re my favorite style of taco, and one standout example is on the seasonal menu at Resident Taqueria, in Dallas’s Lake Highlands neighborhood. If you’re going to visit Resident only one time of year, this would be the time. Chef-owner Andrew Savoie receives only four cases of about two hundred chiles each, so the special goes fast and hot. The taco, an oblong segmented chile stuffed with mozzarella (a common Mexican restaurant substitute for pricey queso Oaxaca, or quesillo), is breaded and fried, then placed on a small house-made Sonoran-style flour tortilla. It’s topped with a warm salsa ranchera and a sprinkle of cotija. The chiles are milder and more fruit-forward than many of the Hatch chiles served elsewhere, making this dish a great choice for those unaccustomed to intense spice.
Central Market’s Chocolate Chip Hatch Cookies
Upmarket H-E-B spin-off Central Market puts on an annual Hatch chile festival that is likely the hottest supermarket promotion in Texas (reusable Selena shopping bags aside). Everything cooked or baked in-house gets the peppery kiss of Hatch, including these large, chewy chocolate chip cookies. The combo of bittersweet cocoa nibs and brown sugar with spicy chile will inspire a new mouthwatering addiction. Good luck getting past the roaster setup at the store’s entrance—the smoky, fruity aroma is about as enticing as it gets—or the Hatch chile burger stand at the exit. And if one Hatch cookie isn’t enough for you, the Hatch and sweet lime sandwich cookies are nothing to scoff at either.
Martin House Brewing Company’s Salsa Verde Hatch & Tomatillo Ale
Martin House Brewing Company’s seasonal Salsa Verde Hatch & Tomatillo ale is one of the most accessible brews from this Fort Worth–based maker of fantastical beers. It’s more drinkable than the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos brew, which sold out in 24 hours, or the mouth-puckeringly Sour Pickle Beer. The Salsa Verde has a mild heat that starts from the first sip. Then it moves on to the top of the mouth before settling at the back of the throat. While a little heat persists, this is a surprisingly refreshing ale that’s pleasant to quaff on even the hottest days.
Atomic Taco Cafe’s Bean and Cheese Burrito
Green chiles aren’t easy to come by in Texas if you don’t live in El Paso. Thankfully, the Atomic Taco Cafe in Aurora, north of Fort Worth, has a great year-round option. It’s best to go simple and comforting here and order the bean and cheese burrito, which is punctuated with Hatch chile inside and out. It’s served in a bath of Hatch chile salsa along with shredded lettuce, cheese, and tomatoes. This burrito has the zip needed of any substantial breakfast. (There’s also a Hatch chile burger if you absolutely need one.)
Paco’s Tacos’ Goin’ Green (and More)
Located near Austin’s Mueller neighborhood, this ten-year-old Tex-Mex joint looks like a ramshackle roadside icehouse from a bygone era rather than the urban combo-plate emporium it is. The cooks at Paco’s Tacos churn out ninety pounds of chile con queso a week, and Hatch chiles are available via several delivery options. There’s the Hatch taco with black beans, guacamole, jack cheese, and a garnish of pico de gallo. Or opt for the Goin’ Green platter, a trio of sliders packed with cheese, guacamole, mayonnaise, and Hatch chiles atop a beef patty, served with a side of chips and queso. Finally, Paco’s also offers Hatch chiles stuffed inside enchiladas.
Kiki’s Mexican Restaurant’s Chile Con Queso Fries
On the subject of El Paso, the chile con queso fries at Kiki’s Mexican Restaurant are a meal unto themselves. Served on an oblong platter, the wide, squat fries are smothered in a thick, yellowish blanket of melted cheese mixed with wide squares of green chiles. It should be noted that Kiki’s is open for curbside pickup only—and the fries are perfect for in-car munching.
Texas Monthly’s Recipe for Hatch Green Chili With Cider
Maybe you’d prefer to stay home and cook a simple but delectable Hatch dish yourself. Hatch season may be almost over, but the chiles freeze well. Make sure to roast them first and use a shallow container or bag to prevent freezer burn, and they should keep for up to a year. Paula Forbes’s recipe for Instant Pot Hatch chili uses apple cider to emphasize the mild spice of the peppers. Or if Hatch beef stew is more your style, we’ve got you covered there too.