In the stretches of the Hatch Valley region of New Mexico are perfectly lined rows of green Hatch chiles, a premium chile known for its meaty flesh and concurrently spicy and sweet flavor. Since it's only in season late summer to early fall, people go kind of nuts for it come August. Roasting pitches are rolled to the front of supermarkets (we've compiled a list for you here) and restaurants start cooking up special dishes with. Since you've only got a month or two to see what our local chefs can do with them, we made this list of dishes for you to try.
10. Hatch Burger at 25 Degrees (Huntington Beach)
Though the Hatch chile burger at 25 Degrees is referred to as "Chicago-style," the chiles they use are definitely the spicy, smoky ones Santa Fe has become known for. Made with Hatch chiles, pickles, relish, an oven roasted tomatoes, and onions, this burger is a celebration of fresh produce as it is beef. You can also customize your own burger and add Hatch chiles for $1.
412 Walnut Ave., Huntington Beach, (714) 960-2525; 25degreesrestaurant.com; Twitter: @25degreesHB
9. Hatch Chile Omelette at Early Bird Cafe (Fullerton)
A traditional breakfast of eggs, bacon, and pancakes is always good, but why go that route when you can get, say, a Hatch chile omelette? That's right folks, you can now start your day off with Hatch chiles thanks to Early Bird Cafe, which has been putting it on the menu for the last couple of seasons.
1000B E Bastanchury Rd, Fullerton, (714) 529-4100; earlybirdoc.com; Twitter: @earlybirdoc 8. Chicken Hatch-Chile Sausage at Wursthaus (Santa Ana)
If you like spicy sausages, try Wursthaus' chicken Hatch chile sausage made with chicken, beer, sundried tomatoes, Hatch chiles, and spices. The added heat goes well with a sip of Troubadour or another beer of your choosing. They tend to run out of this sausage so call ahead and see if they have it. Oh, and don't forget to get fries to go with it.
305 E 4th St, Ste 106 in Santa Ana, (714) 760-4333; wursthausdtsa.com; Instagram: @wursthausdtsa
7. Hatch Chile-Topped Pizza at TJ Woodfire Pizza
TJ Woodfire Pizza always brings out the most delicious pizzas from their mobile ovens (Margherita, anyone?). Now that Hatch chiles are in season, they're offering them as an additional topping for your pizza--but there's a catch. Like many of places on this list, they don't always have the chiles, so you should definitely call ahead to make sure.
(949) 243-6433; tjwoodfirepizza.com; Twitter: @TjWoodfirePizza
6. Hatch Burger at Umami Burger (Multiple Locations)
The Hatch burger at Umami Burger--a combination of roasted Hatch chiles, house Cali cheese, and roasted garlic aioli--is the ultimate smokey burger. This is because they don't skimp on the Hatch chiles, which cover every inch of the beef. For the final touch, a piece of cheese is placed on top of the chiles and melts down through the beef.
2981 Bristol St #2, Costa Mesa, (714) 957-8626 31 Spectrum Center Dr, Irvine; (949) 396-1830 338 S Anaheim Blvd, Anaheim; (714) 991-8626 umamiburger.com; Instagram: @umamiburger 5. Various Dishes at Chapter One: The Modern Local (Santa Ana)
Chapter One says they're working on new dishes with Melissa Produce's Hatch chiles every day, so you'll have to go there and see what new dishes they're coming up with in real-time. Some dishes they've offered in the past weeks are ribeye cap with corn and Hatch chile puree and also red hot chile with pork.
227 N Broadway, Santa Ana, (714) 352-2225; chapteronetml.com; Instagram: @chapteronetml
4. Various Dishes at Panxa Cocina (Long Beach)
Panxa Cocina serves two dishes with Hatch chiles in them: potato-cheddar pancakes and calabacitas, a Tex-Mex dish of mixed up vegetables. In the potato-cheddar pancakes, they're mixed with apples to make a chutney. In the calabacita, they're chopped up and mixed with seasonal squash, dehydrated corn, and manchego cream.
3937 E Broadway, Long Beach, (562) 433-7999; panxacocina.com; Instagram: @panxacocina
3. Hatch Burger at Wagyu Chuck (Santa Ana)
Today--that is, Friday August 14th for those who (like me) don't check dates--Wagyu Chuck is cooking up Hatch Burgers. Cool! Think the typical Wagyu burger--ground beef, cheese, and sponge dough buns made by Playground's Dough Exchange--but with Hatch chiles in them. Since the dish is seasonal, be sure to call them ahead of time to make sure they have 'em.
201 E 4th St, Santa Ana, (657) 232-4474; lunchboxdtsa.com; Instagram: @lunchboxdtsa 2. Hatch Chile at Clobster Breakfast Burrito at Slapfish (Multiple Locations)
There's nothing particularly spicy about Slapfish's lobster rolls or chowder fries. That's why Slapfish's seasonal Hatch chile and Clobster Breakfast Burrito--a burrito of lobster, crab (hence "clobster"), and Hatch chiles from Melissa's Produce--is a refreshing addition to their menu. Since this dish isn't permanent, as always, it's best to call one of Slapfish's locations to see when it's being served.
19696 Beach Blvd, Huntington Beach, (714) 963-3900 211 Broadway, Laguna Beach, (949) 715-0464 2727 Newport Blvd., Suite 302, Newport Beach, (949)723-0034 4249 Campus Drive, Irvine, phone number n/a www.slapfishrestaurant.com; Instagram: @slapfish
1. Various Dishes at Playground (Santa Ana)
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You already know that the menu here changes daily. That being said, fresh, in-season produce is always of interest to Jason Quinn and his team, which explains why they'll be throwing in a couple Hatch chiles here and there. They might appear in your burger, as a sauce, in powdered form--we'll leave it up to Quinn. Some dishes they've cooked up these past few weeks are Corn & Hatch Chile Pozole, Hatch Chile & Corn Chilaquile, and Hatch chile cornbread.
220 E 4th St #102, Santa Ana, (714) 560-4444; playgrounddtsa.com; Instagram: @playgrounddtsa