We are three sisters united in our search for the divine - in food, libation, literature, art, and nature. This blog will capture the true, sometimes decadent, at times humorous, and every so often transcendent adventures of the Salvation Sisters.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Linda's Hatch Chile and Cheese Soufflé (Gluten-Free) and How To Roast and Peel Fresh Chiles

by Linda

"The chile, it seems to me, is one of the few foods that has its own goddess."
                         ~Diana Kennedy, author of The Art of Mexican Cooking

My Hatch chile and cheese soufflé being lifted from the oven. Hot and bubbly goodness...
Hatch chiles grown in California arrive in markets at the end of summer.
   Diana Kennedy, author and authority on Mexican cooking has this to say about the chile, "The chile, it seems to me, is one of the few foods that has its own goddess. In Mexican cuisine and lore, this “Respectable Lady of the Little Red Chile” is a deity that represents the chile’s everlasting significance in the ritual life of the culture. Losio, the Zapotec god who looks after newly sown crops, also takes an interest in the chile. And in Pahuatlán, Puebla, Otomi Indians believe in chile plant spirits that protect the seeds and the harvest."

   Hatch chiles are a variety of chile that hail from the state of New Mexico where they are grown in the Hatch Valley. Since the flavor of these chiles is rich and usually on the milder side (you can get a hot one from time to time, so beware) they are prized for their intense and deep flavor. Hatch chiles are also grown in California where they are harvested starting in late summer. Roasting them intensifies the flavor, and if you are not able to pick them up freshly roasted from your local farmer's market, the following pictorial will show you how to easily do this at home. There are many way to accomplish roasting the chiles and removing the skins, but the method that I illustrate below has become my favorite.

Hatch chiles roasting off the side of the highway in September ~ Benson, Arizona.
   This Hatch chile and cheese soufflé makes a great side dish for grilled meats. In developing the recipe, I wanted something simple and gluten-free. I love it alongside grilled Tri Tip. Add a salad or fresh veggies and you will have an end of summer supper that will celebrate these chiles that are only available fresh for just a few weeks in August and September. I love to reheat the leftovers (if there are any!) the next morning for breakfast.

Hatch Chiles: Simple Instructions for Roasting and Peeling

The roasted chiles are ready to be peeled and seeded.

Place fresh chiles on a sheet pan lined with parchment.

I like to rub a little olive oil on them before they go in a 350 degree oven for 30 to 45 minutes.

When finished the chiles are puffed and brown in spots. These are ready
to rest in a brown bag before peeling.

This step makes peeling chiles a snap. Put hot chiles in a brown grocery bag.

Fold the top of the bag down and allow the hot chiles to steam
inside for about 30 minutes or until cool.

The cooled chiles can now be peeled. Remove stems and seeds along with the peel.

The peeled chiles look like this. Do not rinse them with water to remove seeds because that will remove flavor. Do not worry about a few seeds. You will never know
they are there in the finished soufflé.
Linda's Hatch Chile and Cheese Soufflé

10-12 fresh Hatch chiles roasted and peeled (you may used canned if fresh are not available)
9 large eggs
4 cups of half and half
1/2 cup of corn flour
2 tsps baking powder
2 cups grated jack cheese
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
Rancho Gordo New Mexican Red Chile Powder (or other mild chili powder  to sprinkle on the top)

I love Rancho Gordo® spices and heirloom beans.
Chop prepared chiles into a large dice. Beat eggs in a large bowl with a whisk until fluffy. Add half and half and mix together with the whisk. In a separate small bowl, mix together the corn flour with the baking powder, salt and pepper. Stir in the 2 cups of jack cheese into the corn flour mixture. Fold dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and then fold in the chopped chiles. Pour mixture into a greased 9x13 dish. Sprinkle the top with the 1 cup of cheddar cheese. Sprinkle top of the soufflé with the red chile powder for garnish. Bake for 40-45 minutes at 300 degrees, or until the middle is set and the soufflé is slightly puffed up and golden. Remove from the oven and allow to set for 5 minutes before cutting into squares and serving onto plates.

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