Try this hatch chile pimento cheese recipe when you want a deliciously fresh and smoky alternative to the orange goop at the supermarket.
Roast the Hatch chiles
Adjust the top oven rack to its highest position (about 6 inches from the heating element). Set your oven broiler to high. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or aluminum foil. Poke several holes in the Hatch chiles to prevent them from exploding and broil the chiles for 7 to 10 minutes (depending on your oven). Once the Hatch chiles have all browned evenly on one side, turn them and brown the opposite sides. Some black spots and blistering is normal but they should not be overly-charred or mushy. Be sure to check the chiles frequently as they can brown and blister very quickly.
Prepare the Hatch chiles
Once the chiles are browned, place them into a freezer bag or airtight plastic container for 15 minutes to steam. Steaming will loosen the thin skin that coats the chiles. Once the chiles have cooled enough to handle, rub them gently with a paper towel. Don't be tempted to wash the chiles under water. While rinsing does help remove the skin, it also effectively removes all the smoke and flavorful oil that has developed as well. Cut the chiles in half and gently remove the stem, ribs and seeds with your hands. Finely chop the chiles and set aside.
IMPORTANT: While Hatch peppers are nowhere near the heat of a serrano or habanero pepper, I strongly encourage you to wear rubber or protective gloves when handling any hot peppers.
Make the "pimento" cheese spread
In a large bowl, mix together the Neufchâtel cheese. mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, Gouda cheese, garlic, salt and black pepper until well combined. Gently fold in the finely chopped Hatch chiles. Cover and refrigerate the cheese spread for at least 1 hour (or overnight) to let the flavors marry.