I love green chilies of all kinds but I have a special place in the pantry of my heart for Hatch. Our local grocery store sets a a booth every year were they char-roast the peppers in a big tumbler and then put them right into a plastic bag, so when you get home all you have to do is peal them; it’s really convenient. We have a couple of recipes that we do every year, and a couple of new ones that we can’t wait to try. Yesterday we did Green Chili Salsa and Hatch Grilled Chicken Enchiladas. As soon as I have some time I want to go out to the ranch and get an Axis for hatch venison and wild boar sausage. Look for that post in a couple of weeks, but for now on to the salsa!
To get started here are the ingredients that you will need for your salsa:
- Charred, steamed, and pealed Hatch Green Chilies
- White onion
- Fresh Jalapeno or Serano Peppers
- Distilled Vinegar
Combine all of the ingredients in a large pot, like a spaghetti pot. Then cover the ingredients with water; not until they are floating, just enough for your emulsion blender to have room to work. If you don’t have an emulsion blender (boat motor for you Emeral fans) then you can blend all the ingredients in your margarita maker and then dump them into the pot. I like a really fine consistency to my salsa, and I find it seals up better in the canning process.
Simmer the blended salsa for a few minutes and it is ready to go.
Ok now the good stuff, Hatch Grilled Chicken Enchaladas! There are a couple of challenges when making enchiladas; the tortillas break apartand they get dry in the oven. So here are a couple of tips to help your enchiladas turn out muy bueno. You have to cook a corn tortilla to make it hold together. In a Mexican food restaurant you will see them flash-fry the tortillas in oil before rolling them into enchiladas. We were doing a grilled chicken for this dish so we just grilled ours. I like the added dimension of the smoke from the grill, it goes great with this pepper.
To make the enchilada sauce for this dish, we used our green chili salsa. I just added some chicken stock and creme, it’s really easy. Just grill your chicken (I used thighs), wait for it to cool and pull it off the bone. Then you will need some graded cheese, I prefer Monterey Jack and even a little Asiago will add some depth to the flavors.
To build the Enchiladas: Cover the bottom of a baking dish with the sauce. Take one of your tortillas and fill it with chicken and cheese repeating until you have filled the dish. Next put a layer of cheese over the top of the enchiladas then cover with the remaining sauce. Bake it covered on 350 degrees just to melt the cheese and heat the chicken, everything is cooked so you don’t need to over do it. It is a simple dish that is really satisfying and a great way to use your Hatch Chilies.
I wish I had a picture of the finished product, but I didn’t have a chance. Those enchiladas were gone before I could even get the camera out!