The Hatch green chile season is winding down. For those who don’t know, Hatch chiles are a type of mild New Mexico chiles grown in the Hatch Valley of New Mexico. They have to be grown in that area to be considered Hatch chiles. That particular environment is responsible for their uniqueness. They are a big deal and they are fabulous.
When I lived in Texas, it was easy to find Hatch chiles. You just had to follow the smell of roasting chiles in mid to late August/early September to a local vendor. Outside of the southwestern part of the United States, it is harder to find Hatch chiles. I was lucky to find some here in South Carolina this week. I bought all they had (only about 5 pounds) and roasted them for future use. I skinned, seeded, and chopped the roasted chiles and froze them in 1 cup portions. If you can’t find Hatch chiles, Anaheim chiles or other long green New Mexico-type chiles can be used.
Chicken and Mushroom Enchiladas with Hatch Green Chile Sauce
For the Hatch Green Chile Sauce:
8 Hatch green chiles, roasted, skinned, seeded, and chopped* (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoon canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
2 cups chicken broth
For the Chicken and Mushroom Enchiladas:
1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded (this is a great way to use leftover chicken)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 8 ounce package mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
1 cup, fresh spinach, chopped
salt and black pepper, to taste
4 ounces pepper jack cheese (or Monterrey jack cheese)
8 corn tortillas
To make the Hatch Green Chile Sauce:
In a skillet or large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute. Add the flour and continue cooking for another minute. Whisk in the chicken broth. Add the chopped green chiles, cumin, coriander, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking often. Reduce the heat to a low and simmer for about 15 minutes, whisking occasionally, until thickened but still very pourable. If you prefer a smoother sauce, you can puree the mixture with a hand blender at this point. Keep the sauce warm until ready to use.
To make the Chicken and Mushroom Enchiladas:
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute. Add the mushrooms and cook until they start to release their liquid. Stir in the shredded chicken and chopped spinach. Season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper. Cook the mixture until any liquid is gone.
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Spray a baking dish with Pam. Spread a thin layer of the Hatch Green Chile Sauce in the bottom of the baking dish.
Wet several paper towels and wring them out. Wrap the corn tortillas in the damp paper towels and microwave for 45 seconds or until warm and pliable.
Divide the chicken and mushroom filling evenly between the 8 corn tortillas. Add about 1 tablespoon of shredded pepper jack cheese to each enchilada and roll up (not too tight) to enclose the filling. Place the enchiladas seam side down in the baking dish. Top the enchiladas with the remaining Hatch Green Chile Sauce. Sprinkle a little more cheese over the enchiladas and bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly
*How To Roast Fresh Chile Peppers
This method works well for roasting a small quantity of chile peppers. Use a long handled cooking fork with a handle made with a non heat-conducting material. Pierce the pepper with the fork and hold the pepper over a gas flame (or grill flame), about 4″ from the heat source. Or use tongs. Keep turning the pepper until it is evenly charred on all sides. The pepper skins should turn black when properly roasted.
For a larger quantity of chiles you can use a stove-top grill that fits over a gas or electric burner. Sit the chiles on top and turn occasionally to allow even charring.
Preheat your oven to 450°F. Spread the peppers evenly on a cookie sheet, in a single layer. Roast the peppers on the top oven rack for about 4-5 minutes until he skins blister. Watch carefully so they do not burn.
Clean and Peel
Place the roasted peppers in a plastic or paper bag and seal the bag – or – in a large bowl and cover with foil or plastic wrap. Allow the chile peppers to sweat in the bag or bowl for about 10 to 15 minutes. When you remove them from the bag or bowl they will be easy to peel. Do not peel them under running water. Peel the chile, remove and discard the skin, seeds, and the veins.
I haven’t had much luck with black bean dips until now. This one is excellent. I served it at a small get-together recently and it disappeared quickly. I think the recipe can be easily doubled, if need be. I adapted this recipe from one for Black Bean Hummus with Queso Fresco found in the April 2015 issue of Cooking Light.
Black Bean Dip
For the dip:
1 15.5 ounce can black beans, drained (set aside about a tablespoon of the black beans for topping)
3 tablespoons water
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 tablespoon)
red onion, chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
fresh cilantro, chopped (about 1/2 tablespoon)
tortilla chips (or pita chips)
fresh crudités (carrots, celery, cucumbers, etc…)
Process all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Transfer the dip to a serving dish and top with the reserved whole black beans, crumbled goat cheese, chopped red onion, and fresh cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips and/or fresh crudités.
My jalapeno plants have done really well this year and I have gotten a bumper crop. I was thinking about making a jalapeno jelly with some of the peppers, but run across a recipe for Candied Jalapenos and gave it a go instead. It has been four weeks since I made the first batch and they are now ready to eat. They are amazing! So addicting. They are a nice balance between sweet, hot, and sour. My jalapenos are super hot, so they make me hiccup. Even with the hiccups and burning lips, I think I could easily eat the whole jar. I think these Candied Jalapenos will be great on Vietnamese rice vermicelli (bun) dishes, as well as on sandwiches and tacos.
I found the recipe I used for Candied Jalapenos here.
I would highly recommend wearing gloves while working with the jalapenos. Trust me.
I added a little cream of coconut to a Margarita and fell in love with the results. OMG, why have I not done this sooner?
Margaritas are notoriously high in calories. Some can go as high as 600 calories per drink. Yikes! Triple sec and cream of coconut can add a lot of calories to a drink. By using only a small amount of triple sec and cream of coconut and by not adding sugar (or using a drink mix…which I would never do anyways), I was able to get this Coconut Margarita to come in at 172 calories.
1 1/2 ounces tequila
1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) triple sec
1 heaping teaspoon cream of coconut (like Coco Lopez)
juice of 1/2 lime
Shake ingredients together with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a glass and serve with a wedge of lime.
It’s not the prettiest soup, but it is loaded with flavor. I omitted the traditional tofu (and pork) and then added cabbage, carrots, and bamboo shoots to this vegetarian version of Hot and Sour Soup. It’s a delicious and filling soup and it only comes in at around 59 calories per 1 cup serving.
Dried shiitake mushrooms and black fungus are some of my favorite ingredients found in an Asian market. They are essential for this soup. Yet another reason to visit an Asian market. Go.
Vegetarian Hot and Sour Soup
6 dried shiitake mushrooms
handful of dried black fungus (also know as wood ear mushrooms)
3 cups hot water
8 cups vegetable broth
2 cups thinly shredded cabbage (green, Savoy, or Napa)
1 carrot, peeled and julienned
1/2 5 ounce can bamboo shoots, drained and julienned
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2-inch piece ginger, peeled and finely minced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons Chinese cooking wine
1 teaspoon sambal olek or sriracha
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 6 tablespoons water
2 eggs, lightly beaten
In separate bowls, soak the dried shiitake mushrooms in 2 cups of hot water and the dried black fungus in 1 cup of hot water until soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the stems from the shiitakes and discard. Slice the rehydrated mushrooms thinly and return to the soaking liquid. Set aside. Thinly slice the rehydrated black fungus. I find it easier to stack a few pieces, roll them up, and then slice with a very sharp knife. Add the sliced shiitakes and their soaking liquid, as well as the sliced black fungus to a soup pot. Discard the black fungus soaking liquid.
Add the vegetable broth to the soup pot and heat over medium-high heat. Add the shredded cabbage, julienned carrot and bamboo shoots, minced garlic and ginger, soy sauce, rice vinegar, Chinese cooking wine, sambal olek (or sriracha), sesame oil, salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil and cook until the cabbage is tender, 10 minutes.
Stir in the cornstarch/water slurry and cook until the soup slightly thickens, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and then slowly add the beaten eggs in a thin stream while stirring the soup. Serve immediately.
I made this for dinner last night. It was easy and very flavorful.
Despite having been in South Carolina for 5 years, I’m still not completely gaga for grits. They taste boring. The addition of cheese and roasted poblanos definitely make grits more exciting for the taste buds.
Cilantro Lime Shrimp with Cheesy Poblano Grits
Makes 4 servings
For the grits:
2 poblanos chiles/peppers
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup grits (not the quick cooking kind)
4 ounces Monterrey jack (or pepper jack) cheese, shredded
For the shrimp:
1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 lime
To roast the poblano chiles:
Preheat broiler to high. Place the poblano chiles on a baking sheet and broil, turning every 5 minutes until each side is blackened and charred. Alternatively, if you have a gas stove, you can char the peppers over a flame, using tongs to turn them. Place the roasted poblanos in a large bowl and cover with foil. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel the skin off the chiles, cut in half lengthwise, discard seeds and membranes, and chop.
For the grits:
Bring the water, milk, salt, and butter to a boil. Gradually whisk in the grits. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, stirring often, for 15 – 20 minutes, or until desired consistency. Stir in the chopped roasted poblanos and shredded cheese and take off the heat.
For the shrimp:
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook 2 – 3 minutes, or until no longer pink. Add the garlic and cook another minute, or until the shrimp are completely cooked through. Add the cilantro and lime juice and serve over the grits.
I picked up 3 pounds of locally grown South Carolina peaches this week at Aldi for only $1.38! I used some of those peaches and some blueberries from our blueberry bush to make this crumble. We ate the crumble with a dollop of whipped cream, but vanilla ice cream or even just a splash of cream is delicious too.
Peach and Blueberry Crumble
1/2 cup blueberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter (or substitute coconut oil)
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Cut the peaches in half and remove the pit. Slice or chop the peaches and place in a small baking dish. Add the blueberries to the peaches and sprinkle with the sugar (you can skip the sugar or adjust the amount to suit your taste) and gently stir to combine.
In a bowl, combine the oats, flour, sliced almonds, and brown sugar. Work the butter into the mixture with a fork, pastry cutter, or your hands. Spread evenly over the fruit in the baking dish. Bake at 350° for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the crumble is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly. Serve warm or at room temperature.