Dining With Denise Neil

It's Hatch green chile time all over town

Hatch green chiles, the New Mexico pepper admired all over the country for their meaty perfection and fabulous flavor, are harvested each year in August — and then they start trickling into Wichita

Not only is Johnson’s Garden Centers having its annual Chile Fest at all of its stores Friday through Sunday, but Freddy’s Frozen Custard also has just put a limited-time Hatch green chile steakburger on its menu.

The annual chile fest is on from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday at all three local Johnson’s stores. During that time, customers can buy the freshly roasted chiles for $7.99 a bag and also can sample dishes made by Johnson’s employees using the peppers.

Also on Saturday, the Johnson’s store at 2707 W. 13th will have an event called the Food Truck Iron ChileHead Cookoff, in which several food truckers compete to make the best dish using Hatch chiles. I get to be a judge and am not the least bit sorry about that. I’ll have a full story about Johnson’s Hatch obsession in Friday’s Go! section.

Freddy's new steakburger, now available at Freddy’s all over town, is garnished with grilled onions, cheese, mustard and Hatch peppers. Diners also can request the chiles put on top of their hot dogs.  The chile items, along with a new S’mores concrete, are available on a limited-time basis.

Anyone know of any other local Hatch invasions?