Beef and New Mexican Chile Quesadillas

Quesadillas are a great way to enjoy the flavor of green New Mexican chili. Most people probably cook quesadillas in a large skillet but this recipe uses a hot oven to crisp up the otherwise floppy flour tortillas. It also uses ground beef as part of the filling but chicken, turkey, pork, veggies, or just cheese works well too. Just don’t forget the Hatch chile! Here’s what you’ll need…

1 lb of lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
3/4 cup of your favorite salsa
1 (4 oz) can of chopped green Hatch chile, drained or use New Mexican chile you’ve prepared
2 cups shredded cheese such as Cheddar, Colby or Colby Jack
salt and pepper to taste
10-12 medium flour tortillas.
Preheat the oven to 450 F. In a large skillet brown the ground beef and onion over medium heat until beef is no longer pink. Pour off drippings and season with salt and pepper. Add salsa and the chopped New Mexican chile, then stir in cheese.

Spoon about a 1/4 cup of beef mixture onto half of each tortilla. Fold over. Place quesadillas on baking sheets and lightly spray tops of the tortillas with cooking spray.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until tortillas are slightly brown. Serve them with rice and beans or a salad and guacamole.

New Mexican Chile Stew

I’m really looking forward to the end of the summer heat and some cool evenings now that the calendar says it is fall. Not that you would know it around these parts, but I digress.

Cooler weather calls for stews and the following recipe is a pretty classic one for New Mexican  chili stew. So pull out the Dutch oven or a big ol’ stew pot…

Here is what you’ll need:

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds beef or pork stew meat
1 medium onion diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
6 cups vegetable or beef broth
3-4 medium potatoes, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
2 teaspoons Kosher salt, to taste
3 cups roasted, peeled, chopped green New Mexican  chile or to taste. If you want to supercharge the heat factor, add a Bhut Jolokia or two, but proceed with caution.

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat and brown the meat in
batches. Set aside. Saute the onions until golden.
Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Return the meat to the pan. Add the broth, potatoes,
salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for one hour, until the potatoes are tender. Add the green chile and cook 15 to 20 minutes more.

Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro if desired. Serve with warm tortillas.

Chicken Chile Recipe

I’m thinking this recipe using green New Mexican chile has some Cajun influence somewhere in its history because it starts with a roux. Or maybe I’ve been watching too much Emeril Live.

Grab a big pot and a half cup of New Mexico green chili.  Hatch chile would be excellent.

In a large pot, melt 1/2 cup butter. Add 3/4 cup all-purpose flour; stir the resulting paste over medium heat. Do this long enough to cook the flour a bit.Add 2 cups milk and 3 cups water, and stir to blend. If there are any lumps, use a whisk to stir them out. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Add 2 cups cooked, boneless and skinless chicken cut into bite-size pieces.Add 1/2 cup chopped green Hatch chile,  salt and pepper to taste and a pinch of garlic powder. Stir well and cover. Simmer 30 minutes and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Source: DMN,

Freezing Whole Roasted and Peeled Chile Pods

I had rubbed the blistered peels off of some good sized Hatch New Mexico chile pods that I thought would be perfect for chile rellenos. However, I wanted to freeze them and make the rellenos another day. I also wanted to freeze the batch in such a way that I could grab just a few without having to thaw a whole bag of pods.

I figured laying the green hatch chile pods out on cookie sheets would give me individually frozen pods but I didn’t want them sticking to the cookie sheet. I also wanted to freeze two layers of chile pods. What to use, waxed paper or parchment paper for lining the sheet?

It turns out, in my little experiment anyway, that parchment paper does a better job and lets go of the pods nicely. The chile had a tendency to stick to the waxed paper.

Just spread out a piece of parchment paper on the cookie sheet and lay the pods on the parchment paper side by side but don’t let them touch. Put the cookie sheets in the freezer overnight. You should then be able to move the frozen pods into a freezer bag, get them right back into the freezer, and have a handy supply of New Mexican chilis to draw from when you get a hankering for chile rellenos.

Celebrating Hatch New Mexico Green Chile

Central Market locations in Texas and an assortment of Tex-Mex restaurants usually set aside a couple weekends this time of year to celebrate the green Hatch chile harvest.

Not wanting to miss out, I zipped over to the Central Market Dallas location last Friday. They had a couple guys out front flame roasting the famous New Mexican chile by the case. Inside the store were various displays of fresh Hatch chile that you could buy bulk. “A” list pods, I should mention.
Central Market is known for their in-house bakery, among other things, so I picked up some hamburger buns and sourdough bread baked with bits of Hatch chile. You could also buy hamburger patties or sausage with the New Mexico green goodness mixed in. Those I passed because it’s pretty easy to make your own at home.

I also got home with a case of Hatch chile that had been fire roasted an hour or so before. The inside of my car still smells like roasted New Mexican chili, but who’s complaining? I’ll have to admit that the chiles looked pretty ugly with a real good toasting put on them. But the outer skin slides off real easy.