XOXO, Salsa Girl

The Dish on All Things Salsa


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Rooster Beak, I love you

Today my manager had a surprise for me…

Unfortunately, I did not get a promotion.

However, I did get to try Rooster’s Beak once and for all. It was just my luck that Fatima decided to whip up a batch of her proclaimed “real” Pico de Gallo and she felt kind enough to share some with me.

My reaction in fragments:

SALTY.SWEET.TART.CRISPY.REFRESHING.

FRUIT.SALSA.GET.IN.MY.BELLY.

I was expecting the lime juice and salt to oddly conflict with the mango and watermelon, but lo and behold–I was wrong. The perfectly crispy cucumber slices perfectly absorbed the juicy runoff from the watermelon, and the mango gave its own tropical flavor. Each fruit was distinctively sweet, and the cucumber was refreshing.

I would compare eating Fatima’s pico de gallo to a day at the spa in Hawaii. You know, because I know what spas are like in Hawaii…

Regardless, that’s what came to my mind as I ate her pico.

Rooster beak, I love you.

XOXO,

Salsa Girl


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Fire Roasted Hatch Green Chiles

**Editor’s note: This post was edited Sept. 13, 2012 at 10:55a.m. to correct a spelling mistake. My apologies, as I should know how to properly type the word “grocery,” since I have been working at a grocery store for three years now. 

Over Labor Day weekend, New Mexico must have smelled like heaven.

On Sept. 1 and Sept. 2, the village of Hatch, New Mexico hosted its 41st Annual Hatch Chile Festival. This is a two-day event dedicated exclusively to chiles.  These people are serious. And so was I…

Just because I couldn’t make it over to New Mexico doesn’t mean I didn’t celebrate.

I set out with a goal of finding my own variation of the official festival. A quick online search landed me exactly where I would have ended regardless: at Sprouts.

Sprouts is my absolute favorite gorcery grocery store (even though I work at Fry’s **TRAITOR ALERT**), and it was just my luck that they host an annual Live Hatch Green Chile Roast right at their store.

And so it was: my very own Hatch Chile Festival.

The smell at my mini festival was incredible, so I can’t even imagine the olfactory heaven that loomed over the festival grounds at the real event in Hatch, New Mexico.

I awkwardly salivated as I stood behind caution tape and smelled that spicy, charred, smoky chile pepper scent coming at my nostrils.

The use of caution tape was most needed to warn people to never try these freshly roasted chiles. They are dangerously tasty.

As for the roasting process: there really isn’t one. The peppers are poured straight from the box into a large, cylindrical roaster where a scorching flame is lit. At that moment, the legend is born.

In a matter of ten minutes, the peppers transform from fresh, vibrant “chile-dren” into cracked, blackened and burnt old, saggy men. For once in life: wrinkles are good. Puns.

After the chiles are roasted, the work begins.

The key is to SWEAT.

I wanted to capitalize that word in order to emphasize how both the chiles and the chile-preparers will have to sweat in the process. Immediately after roasting, the chiles must be set into plastic bags or containers to sweat–so that peeling off the roasted skins becomes an easier task…or at least so it can be done eventually.

Removing the skins is easier said than done. For me, the little devils were resistant and it was a 45-minute process by the time I finished. However, I do admit that I was distracted watching my favorite show, Diners Drive-Ins and Dives while nit-picking at the reluctant peppers.

I realize this isn’t the cutest picture, but it gives an accurate picture of what must be done.  Also, check out the picture below to see how awesome my sink looked as I had the chiles sit and wait in ice-cold water for me to peel them… (please note: sarcasm)

Don’t get discouraged. The taste is worth it.

Once the hatch green chiles are cleaned and peeled, the options are limitless. With mine, I’m making a fire-roasted salsa. Expect an upcoming post to feature that recipe.

Embarassing author’s note: As i prepared to track down these chiles, I learned about the true origins of the name. Hatch, New Mexico= Hatch Green Chiles. Epiphany.

That’s the scoop for now.

XOXO, Salsa Girl