Back in early September I attended a Hatch Chili roast hosted by Melissa’s Produce and Bristol Farms in Newport Beach. What is a Hatch Chili? Read this my past article on Hatch Chilies. Although I took home mostly roasted Hatch chilies, I did take home some green Hatch Chilies to air dry. A string of chilies is called a ristra , which are hung up and allow to air dry and turn red.
Since I was a bit lazy and did not want to visit the store to purchase string, I improvised with rubber bands. Yes Ladies and Gentlemen, you can use what ever you want to create a ristra. I got creative and wrapped a rubber band around each stem, and then tied up the rubber bands with the knot on top. Voila! improvised ristra! This blog post is a time lapse photo blog of what it looks like when Hatch Chilies are air dried. It was pretty fun to watch this on a daily basis.
Day 1 – September 12th, 2012 The Hatch Chilies are still bright green, plumb and firm to the touch.
Day 3 – September 14th, 2012 – Some of the chilies are starting to get a little wrinkled.
Day 5 – September 16th, 2012 – Some of the chilies are starting to show hints of red.
Day 8 – September 19th, 2012 – Even more of the chilies are starting to turn red. A couple are starting to look like middle age women in Texas.
Day 12 – September 23, 2012 – Some of the chilies are fully red and the others are starting to turn. Wrinkling is really starting to take hold of the red chilies.
Day 13 – September 24th, 2012 – Not much of a difference from the day before, but I rotated the chilies a little to see the color.
Day 14 – September 25th, 2012 – Things are starting to get dehydrated
Day 15 – September 26th, 2012 – Almost all the chilies are red.
Day 17 – September 28th, 2012 – All the chilies are loosing their plumpness.
Day 21 – October 2nd, 2012 – Chilies are starting to get firm and wrikled
Day 26 – October 7th, 2012 – The stems are turning brown and the flesh is starting to curl
Day 27 – October 8th, 2012 – Not too much of a change
Day 32 – October 13th, 2012 – I was in Las Vegas for the past couple days, between leaving the window closed and a heat wave, the chilies really got dehydrated and hard to the touch
Day 34 – October 15th, 2012 – Things are progressing nicely…
Day 36 – October 17th, 2012 – The Chilies are taking a deeper red and are shrinking in size
Day 38 – October 18th, 2012 – The chilies are now very light and crispy.
This is what dried out Hatch Chilies look like cut open
I typically shred the dried out Hatch chilies and separate the dry skin and seeds. I always store them separately so that I can control flavor and heat in recipes.
Tom grew up in a cultural diverse neighborhood and a culturally diverse family, so he has learned to appreciate all types of food. "I am not a Chef, nor do I play one on T.V., but I have learned to appreciate food from years of eating and cooking." Tom also spent 10 years in the restaurant industry in various roles, from Prep Cook to server.