I just returned from yet another glorious food bloggers' potluck. Man, do I ever love that group! As one blogger put it, "Somebody asked me if we were a group of foodies. I told them no, more like a group of food nerds." All right, then. Food nerds, unite!
The theme for this potluck was hatch chiles, a New Mexican chile that is rather ubiquitous for a couple of weeks around this time of year when they're in season. Many of the local restaurants feature hatch chile dishes, and grocery stores like Central Market have full-on hatch chile festivals and sell the already-roasted peppers by the bagful.
A pile of beautiful roasted hatch chiles at Central Market.
When the gauntlet was thrown down to bring a hatch chile-themed dish, I'll admit I was a little skeptical. Would there be enough variety? Would the meal turn into spicy overload? Would there be enough dessert? Of course, I should have trusted the Food Bloggers' Brain Trust. Austin food bloggers collectively created a fantastic feast, incorporating hatch chiles in so many creative and delicious ways. Here are a few shots of the spread:
Quite possibly the best baba ganoush I've ever tasted, and most certainly the most beautiful; the pomegranate seeds added a lot to the presentation. Made by Diann from Eat'n Veg'n
Rich and delicious hatch chile arancinis (hatch chile risotto with hatch chile jack cheese centers) made by Kristi Willis of Austin Farm To Table.
Seriously tasty sushi rolls - tempura fried hatch chiles with avocado and cucumber, topped by a homemade spicy garlic-chili-hatch-mango sauce. Made by the oh-so-talented Steven Noreyko.
More sushi! Hand rolls made with garlic shoyu-seasoned tempeh, brown rice, avocado, cilantro, and roasted hatch chiles.*
Still more sushi; same ingredients as the hand rolls, above.*
This is one of those "creative" applications I mentioned above. Vodka was infused with hatch chiles and then chilled with one of these ice cubes, which each had a jabanero pepper frozen into it.* HOT.
Bacon-wrapped hatch chiles.* Need I say more?
Chocolate-dipped pecan brittle with green chile salt, made by Lisa of Lisa Is Cooking.
Crazy crazy crazy good hatch chile-infused chocolate truffles, made by Michael and Tina of Cooking for Engineers fame!
Guest appearance by the President of FFBA (Future Food Bloggers of America)!
Other wonderful hatch dishes included an amazing tri-color orzo with chiles, toasted pecans, and cilantro made by Cecilia of Soil to Supper; refreshing cucumber avocado gazpacho with roasted hatch chiles made by Teddy from Fun With Your Food; fantastic hatch chile chocolate sauce and homemade maraschino cherries over ice cream created by Jennie from MisoHungry Makes it with Moonshine; hatch chile mac 'n' cheese; hatch chile corn pudding and hatch chile cornbread; meatballs with hatch chile pesto sauce; hatch chile curry with basmati rice...the list goes on and on.
As for me, I brought hatch chile brownies with Grand Marnier whipped cream, which I'll blog about separately, since this post is getting pretty long.
It goes without saying that this
(*If you made any of the dishes pictured above and weren't credited, please comment below with a link to your blog so I can credit you!)