Preparing for the Hatch Chile Invasion
Batten down, y'all ...
Austinites really love chiles and none more than the delectable green capsicum variety that flourishes around Hatch, N.M. Now the last few weeks of summer herald the arrival of fresh chiles by the truckload. They are for sale at festivals, restaurants, and markets and are the centerpieces of recipe contests and celebrations. This summer, the mayor of Hatch is even coming to Austin to participate in the spicy festivities. Go join in the fun.
Sunset Valley Farmers Market (Toney Burger Center parking lot on Highway 290 West) invites you to their annual summer celebration of all things chile -- plenty of chile-flavored foods, chile crafts, you name it. Craig Barton will be roasting fresh Hatch chiles. Saturday, Aug. 25, 9am-1pm.
Both Central Market stores (4001 N. Lamar, 206-1000; 4477 S. Lamar, 899-4300) are celebrating Hatch chiles with a staggering array of chile-spoked items, everything from crab cakes to tamales to brownies over the next two weekends. They are also sponsoring the No-Holds-Barred Hatch Chile Recipe Contest with the deadline for recipe submission of Aug. 18. Judges will choose the "final chile five" at each store, and a panel of celebrity judges will choose the winners on Sunday, Aug. 26. Hatch, N.M., Mayor Jeff Nordyke will be a judge at the Westgate store. Aug. 17-19 & 24-26.
Never to be outdone, the four local Chuy's (various locations) offer the opportunity to get your chiles on at their yearly Hatch event. Each restaurant will be featuring nine Hatch chile menu specials, including a drink and a dessert. They'll also be selling chiles by the pound: fresh, fire-roasted, or processed (fire-roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped). Aug. 27-Sept. 16.