Friday, August 16, 2013

Hatch chile flour tortillas recipe

Hatch chile flour toritllas

This time of year, I start to go chile pepper mad. Okay, I admit that I’m always cooking with chiles, but in August and September they are at their absolute best. Their flavor is so much brighter and livelier when you bite into one that’s just been picked.

Of course, if you’re in Texas or New Mexico, there’s one chile pepper in particular that’s garners the most attention this time of year—the Hatch chile. As I’ve written before, the Hatch chile doesn’t refer to a type of chile, instead the term “Hatch” is where these chiles are from, which is the Hatch Valley in New Mexico, about an hour away from El Paso.

Hatch chiles, which come from the same stock as Anaheim chiles, are a dagger-shaped light green chile (though as they mature they will turn red, which is why some Hatch chiles will have red patches on them), which ranges in heat from mild to hot. By looks alone, you can’t tell what you’re getting so hopefully the vendor will let you know.

Hatch chiles

Because their season is brief—from August until mid-September—many grocery stores in Texas have festivals celebrating the harvest. One particular store, Central Market, goes especially wild for Hatch chiles, with chile roasters out in front of the stores and a host of fun products made with the chiles on the shelves inside.

One thing Central Market offers is their limited edition Hatch chile flour tortillas. I love these and if I’m in Texas when they’re available, I always stock up and then keep them in my freezer so I can enjoy them long after the season has passed.

If you’re never had these tortillas, they’re soft, thin, and lightly flecked with small pieces of roasted chile throughout. The chile flavor is not overwhelming as it’s a modest amount of chile, nor are the tortillas fiery. But when you take a bite that has a bit of the pepper in it, you will nod your head and say, “That’s good!”



Now, for a long time I’ve wanted to make these tortillas at home. As I have no idea what is Central Market’s tortilla recipe, my first step was to look at their list of ingredients. Using that as a guide, after some trial and error I finally came up with an excellent tortilla, though I will admit that mine are a bit thicker than theirs. This is not to say, however, they are any less delicious.

The biggest challenge with making these is getting the pieces of Hatch chile to stay in the dough as you roll it out. In the end, I realized that if some chile falls out as you roll, you can pick it up, press it back into the dough, flip the tortilla over, and then continue rolling. This should keep most of the chiles within. Also, because the chiles are wet, you may need to use extra flour when rolling, otherwise the dough will become too sticky.

Hatch chile flour toritllas

Other than that, however, if you’ve made flour tortillas before you will find the process very familiar. And if you haven’t made flour tortillas before, don’t be afraid and by all means, give this a try! It’s a tender tortilla perfect for stuffing with eggs in the morning for tacos, though they also make for a fine quesadilla, and are even good just on their own, still warm from the skillet.

Hatch chile flour tortillas
1 Hatch or Anaheim green chile
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
3/4 cup warm water

First you’ll need to roast the chile in order to peel the tough skin. Place the chile under the broiler until blackened, about 5 minutes per side. Place chile in a paper sack or plastic food-storage bag, close it tight and let the chile steam for 20 minutes. Take the chile out of the bag and rub off the skin. Remove stem and seeds and dice the chile.

To make the tortillas, in a medium bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt until well combined. Stir in the diced chile until well distributed. Pour in the oil and warm water, and stir until a soft dough is formed (if it feels too wet, you can a more flour, a tablespoon at a time.) Cover the dough and let it rest for 1 hour.

After an hour, divide the dough into 8 balls. Lightly flour a clean surface and one at a time place a dough ball on the floured surface, pat it out into a 4-inch circle, and then roll with a rolling pin from the center until it’s thin and about 8 inches in diameter. If the chile peppers fall out of the dough as you roll, pick them up and then lightly press them in the center of the tortilla, flip the tortilla, and then continue rolling.

Keep the rolled-out tortillas covered until ready to cook. 


In a dry cast-iron skillet heated on medium high, cook for 30 seconds on one side, flip it and then cook for 1 minute on the other side. It should start to puff a bit. Flip it again and cook for 30 seconds more. Place cooked tortillas in a basket lined with cloth or a tortilla warmer. Repeat process for remaining balls of dough.

These will keep refrigerated for 1 week.

Yield: 8 tortillas

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34 comments:

Dan from Platter Talk said...

I've not made tortillas, yet. This looks like a great technique!!

Kathryn said...

Thank you for this recipe! Our garden is overflowing with peppers! I have your cookbook and we are going to making the jalapeno relish and the bread and butter jalapeno pickles, now this recipe! yum!! I was born in Texas but now live in Missouri. Your cookbook has been wonderful as no-one here in the Mid-west knows how to make a decent sopapilla or kolache!
Kathryn

Mark said...

Outstanding! Next time you're in San Antonio, I'm buying you supper - how about Los Barrios?

Crystal in Texas said...

That looks really interesting. Maybe if you tried rolling them out like an Indian roti, it would work better keeping the chiles in the tortilla. You put some in the center of the rolled out one and then twirl the edges to make it stuffed and then roll it out again...anyway, just a thought...great blog, by the way!

TMerritt said...

Nice! Look forward to trying these soon! Displaced in Oxford, UK and missing my taste of Texas. [Side note, you need to add "seconds" after the 2nd '30' in you cooking of the tortilla.]

Cheers!

Rockelle said...

I just had a wrap for lunch made with this tortilla and green chile turkey from CM. Delicious! Now please come up with a recipe for CM's green chile cheese scones. The ones they make fresh in the bakery. I think they may be the best thing I've ever eaten and they are always limited.

kathie said...

Thank you! Hatch shipping here in early September and it will be fun to try out this recipe.

Pamela Stewart Tomlinson said...

I agree with Rockelle! CM Hatch-cheese scones are the best. I live in Phoenix now, and still miss them!

Cathy said...

So funny, my HEB in Corpus Christi has featured Hatch chiles for a week or so. I need to get to work on these tortillas. Thanks for the recipe.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Dan--It's pretty simple, the hardest part for me is the rolling. Hope it works for you!

Kathryn--Thank you for the kind words about the book, I'm glad you're enjoying it!

Mark--Thank you for the invitation!

Crystal--That's a good tip, I'll try that!

TMerritt--Thank you for the bit of editing and best wishes to you as you cook Texas food in Oxford!

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Rockelle--Green chile turkey? Now that I want to try! As for the scones, I will see what I can do.

Kathie--Have fun with it!

Pamela--Another vote for the scones!

Cathy--You're welcome!

Liz said...

I'm not sure how this would work with tortilla dough and/or whether it would be too much handling, but I've been making a Chinese Scallion "pancake" (really more like a lightly fried tortilla) recipe from "The Woks of Life" blog. The technique is sprinkling on any "stuff", rolling into a cigar shape, making a snail out of the cigar and then rolling again. The blog has photos. It helps keep the scallions and herbs IN the rolled out disk. I'm definitely going to give it a go with the green chiles.

jabreb said...

Just yesterday I bought some Hatch Peppers at the FIESTA on FM 1960/Houston. Today and tomorrow they are roasting hatch peppers in front of the store - they make it a big celebration. Your recipe for hatch chili tortillas came just in time. While at Fiesta I also bought a tortilla press. At set now, just have to follow your recipe - yum.

Nikki said...

We just put up 30 lbs. ($15, including the roasting) of Hatch chiles, which has become a well anticipated annual ritual. :) I have one hint for others who buy then freeze. We don't peel the chiles before we freeze them, we simply bag them up after they have cooled and peel them when we take them out of the freezer to use them. It's so easy! Caldillo in December is just so yummy.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Liz--What an interesting technique! I am definitely going to try that. Thank you so much for sharing!

Jabreb--Very cool. And I know that Fiesta very well as I grew up close to that area. Happy tortilla making!

Don Devine said...

This is a great recipe! I trust I can substitute the oil with room temp butter? I love being in Texas this time of year! The hatch chilis are the first and only thing I smell when I walk into my local HEB!!!!

Ted said...

I bet that this would work even better with homemade corn tortillas. Hatch chile season is a fifth season here in Tex/ NewMex.

Carolynn Scoffield said...

I am thinking of using the canned variety of green chiles for convenience. and possible blending them somewhat into a puree with my stick blender before adding to the other ingredients. What is your opinion of this idea?

Anonymous said...

Our only child is moving to Austin soon, we cannot wait to visit her and get in all the foods of Texas and yes Hatch chiles..They are in the market here in Washington state, I picked some up today and my neighbor will roast them for me and make this dish that is heavenly...We are so jazzed our only child will be in Austin and living amongst some of the finest people she has grown to call dear friends!

Debra Kapellakis said...

These made/make my mouth water. Thank you for sharing.

keith said...

HAHA, just got back from Central Market in Houston and bought 2dz. to go with the Hatch Marinated Fajitas. Also, picked up Hatch Burgers (which are awesome) :)

Mary Waller Hall said...

I saw the chile roasters out in front of the grocery store here in northern NM and panicked a little about it already being fall. Where did the summer go? Roasting green chiles is the smell of autumn out here.

Sandi Graham said...

Yum! I have yet to make homemade tortillas! This is the best recipe to start with

Marghie said...

I'm flying to NM next week from New Hampshire. Taking a cooler bag full of maple syrup, and planning to bring it back full of frozen chiles. Although I'm going to see my family, who I really love, I thought myself so clever to arrange this trip to coincide with the chile season!! I've been out of Hatch chiles for a couple of months now, and that is unacceptable. I can hardly wait to get there!

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Don--I bet the chiles would be terrific in corn tortillas!

Carolynn--I've had both red chile tortillas and green chile that were made with a puree and they were very good, if different from these. If you do make a puree with canned chiles, know that you'll have to adjust the amount of water and/or flour.

Anon--Your child will love Austin!

Debra--You're welcome!

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Keith--That sounds like quite a feast!

Mary--I know! As much as I love Hatch season, it is the signal that fall is around corner. Our farmers market now has grapes and I reckon pumpkins aren't far behind.

Sandi--You'll find this dough is very easy to work with. I hope you enjoy them!

Marghie--Maple syrup for Hatch chiles? That's a perfect exchange! Have a terrific trip.

Shelley said...

Just back home from my visit to Lubbock, where the United Marketplace had a "Hatch chile" roast going on out front. I had no idea what that meant until I read this. I heard the bag boy say, "Those are the best chiles ever."

Gail said...

Went crazy at Central Market South Lamar last week: tortillas, fresh hatch chicken & pork sausages (hot & mild), hatch pimento cheese, hatch chili cheese bread, and of course bags of peppers to roast and freeze. Love them in tortilla soup when cooler weather arrives.

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

I have a gazillion anaheims from my garden, so this will be on the list to make this weekend...

Anonymous said...

If you've got a regular sized tortilla press, this is enough for 12-16 tortillas, easy.

Lisa Alado said...

Hi Lisa! I bought some freshly roasted Hatch chiles from my local Whole Foods Market and made these tortillas tonight. They were FABULOUS!!! Very tender and flavorful. I was curious as to how they would compare with your other flour tortilla recipe,which are a staple in our household. I ended up combining the recipes--used milk (as in the older recipe) instead of the water recommended in this recipe. And as in the older recipe, I let them rest for 20 minutes, instead of an hour..we were hungry! Now, I'll add the remaining chiles to a batch of your corn tortillas :)Thanks for another fabulous recipe!

K. Marie Jesch said...

I just made tortillas tonight! I wish I had viewed this post beforehand because I would have picked up a hatch chile to make this recipe! These look awesome! I might have to head to Central Market this week to pick up some of their tortillas... I've never heard of them before! Thanks for the great looking recipe!

Karen said...

Lisa, I've just spotted the Homesick Texan's Family Table on Amazon, and pre-ordered it right away. Gee, I can barely wait for April to come... :-)

Anonymous said...

I have heard, but not verified, that chiles with curved stems are hotter than those with straight stems. Also not sure if this is supposed to apply to individual chiles or just to the type of chile. I sure miss the smell of roasting chiles in New Mexico, now that I live in Nowhere, Kansas!

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