Late August brings Hatch chiles to the markets. From New Mexico, these beauties resemble Anaheim chiles but are much more flavorful, with hints of apple and a smokey quality that make them perfect for roasting. They add a tangy punch of flavor and spice to meat and fish dishes.
At my local Bristol Farms, hatch chiles were the hype of the market, and I picked up a few along with a flyer with several recipes to try at home. Most appealing was the grilled salmon recipe with hatch chile cream sauce (adapted to my liking below).
To really make the dish pop, I added a garnish of finger limes, another August produce find. Finger limes aren’t like any citrus you’ve seen before. They’re tiny and adorable and when you cut them in half you find little cavier-like lime pearls. You can’t “juice” them per se, but the lime “caviers” added a touch of sweet soapy lime citrus to the dish and look really impressive on the plate. Fun stuff. (Also try adding finger limes to tuna poke. Yummy.)
The hatch cream sauce for my salmon used basic simple ingredients and was easy enough to make (though you need to bust out your blender), and anything creamy on salmon is a treat. Grilling the salmon is the only way to go for this recipe because you want that smokiness from the grill to complement the sauce. I served my salmon with an heirloom tomato and feta salad and an Oregon chardonnay. A perfect late summer meal to enjoy on the patio.
*Note: if you have any extra cream sauce, reserve and refrigerate it. The cold cream sauce will turn into an aioli of sorts. Last night we grilled burgers and topped them with grilled hatch chiles and used the cold cream sauce in place of mayo. Delish!
Behold: grilled salmon with hatch chile cream sauce and finger lime cavier. Fancy, eh?