Saturday, August 21, 2010

Chillis, Chilis, or Hatch Chiles!

Now playing: Red Hot Chili Peppers - Fire - Red Hot Chili Peppers
via FoxyTunes

It is Hatch chile season! The famous chiles of Hatch, New Mexico refer to the five or six main cultivated varieties of New Mexico chiles. The chiles have a distinctive quality due to the climate of Mesilla Valley. They have a short season a few weeks from late July to early September. Farmer's markets and some grocery stores here in Fort Collins have the familiar aroma of the roasting chiles right now!

There are red and green and mild and hot varieties. Here the green, milder variety is featured.

Load them in the grated barrel.

Turn up the heat and spin to evenly roast them.

The recipe I used my purchased chiles for is an Enchilada Casserole. Garnish with all kinds of toppings, anything that would fit comfortably in a taco (not having a laugh here). Mine has avacado and jicama on top too. Mine is also served on a bed of garden grown heirloom tomatoes.

Make a gravy with a 3 oz. jar of chili powder (yes, you read it correctly, trust me), 3 tbsp. vegetable oil and 1 c. of flour. Combine and cook slowly to get the rawness out of the flour. Add chicken stock and water and cook until you have a somewhat thick sauce (32 oz. of chicken stock and about 4 c. water.) I also added a few mild dried chiles (soaked in hot water) to be strained later. I used the soaking water from the dried chiles as part of the water I added for the gravy.

Dip corn tortillas into the gravy and line 8 into a 9x13 pan. Layer as such:

*Grated extra sharp cheddar (I used 4 c. of cheese total for the recipe), then 6 roasted green chiles, more sauce.
*8 more dipped tortillas and add prepared shredded chicken or other meat of your choice, more cheese, more sauce.
8 more dipped tortillas, more cheese, 6 more chiles, more sauce.
8 more tortillas. Top with more sauce and end with cheese. Cover with foil.

Bake in a 350 deg. oven for 45 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve with toppings. You can also reserve some sauce and keep it warm to pour over individual servings at the table.

Strolling through the veg garden.

Flowers too!

Edited to add:

I adapted the recipe above from a Mexican cooking class I took many moons ago. The class was taught by this woman linked below. I only added the chiles to the recipe.

Rebecca "Becky" Yanez

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