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Lesson learned about Hatch chile peppers!

August 22, 2016

I made Mika Garnett’s Southwest Chicken and Green Chile Stew again last night. It’s a recipe that we both had really enjoyed before.

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Doesn’t this stew look good?

Mika Garnett's Southwest Chicken and Green Chile Stew

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Well, I’m here to bring you this Important warning about hatch chile peppers!

This really is a great recipe, so I made it again yesterday with 4 hatch chile peppers that I found at Thriftway. They had two side-by-side boxes of hatch chile peppers that looked identical. One was labeled “Hot” and the other “Mild”. I chose the mild. Or so I thought.

When I researched hatch chiles before making this 3 years ago, I found this information someplace: “They can range from mild to medium-hot.” Wrong! I now know they can range from mild to insanely hot! 

Thinking I had identical peppers to the ones I had used before, I just added them to the chile. Just before serving I used a spoon to taste the broth for seasoning. I’m talking about 1/2 teaspoon of broth with NO visible signs of pepper pieces in it. WHOA! I don’t think I’ve ever eaten anything so hot before. I thought the top of my head was going to blow off.

Now, I’ll admit I am a bit of a sissy when it comes to hot stuff. (I order 2* at Thai restaurants and it’s plenty hot for me.) But this was insanely hot! I knew there was no way I could eat this stew last night. Bob offered to take me out for dinner, but I just quickly popped an emergency freezer meal into the microwave for my dinner.

Bob, Mr. 5*-Thai-food-guy who usually asks for extra hot sauce to add to his food, said he’d eat the stew. Well, he did finish his bowl, but I have never seen him sweat so much when he eats hot stuff! After he was finished, he admitted that it was even too hot for him!

So we threw the leftovers out.

I’m passing on the lesson I learned from all of this. Never assume your chile peppers are mild or medium. Taste a bite before adding them to your recipe. Had I done that, I would have used 1/2 – 1 of these crazy-hot chiles and it probably would have been fantastic. Lesson learned!

I still highly recommend the recipe, just be careful with your chile peppers. I might take the super-safe route and use a 4-ounce can of chile peppers next time. 😉

I’ll be back with a new recipe soon!

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This volunteer sunflower sharing a pot with geraniums and lobelia bloomed the day before Carrie and Rhett’s wedding!.Volunteer sunflower - bloomed 7-29-16.jpg

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