Green Chile Burgers

August 30th, 2009
by: Blue

2 lbs of lean ground beef (preferably raised by my Daddy)
1 package onion soup mix
1 cup Hatch Green Chiles (or less, or more, whatever)
2 tablespoons worchester sauce
1-2 tablespoons water
Fresh ground pepper

Crumble the beef into a bowl. Add soup mix and green chiles and mix lightly. Add 1 tablespoon water and mix lightly. If the water is absorbed almost immediately add another tablespoon. This might sound bizarre but this adds a lot of moisture to the burger, which is critical for lean ground beef. Heck, add three tablespoons if you need too, along with fresh ground pepper to taste. When mixed the beef should not feel compact, it should almost like it’s going to fall apart when you form the patties and you’ll feel scared that it’ll survive grilling. This is your goal. After you form the patties (I made 6), you can chill them in the fridge to firm them up a bit. When you are ready to grill, lightly oil the grate and cook the burgers over medium high heat about 4-5 minutes each side. Grab a beer while you enjoy the amazing aroma of roasted green chiles and grilled beef.

Green Chile Chili

August 30th, 2009
by: Blue

WARNING: This recipe is named for the massive amount of green chiles in the leftover green chile burgers, and not for being traditional New Mexico Green Chili.  Proceed if you still desire deliciousness in your mouth.

Chopped onions, 1-2 cups
Leftover green chile burgers, crumbled (I had approximately 1 1/3 lbs leftover, weight prior to cooking. Precision not guaranteed)
1 can pinto beans, or substitute your bean of choice
2 cans Rotel tomatoes
2 teaspoons cumin
2 bay leaves
¼ cup chili powder, or to taste
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons sugar
4 cups (1 quart) chicken broth
½ cup sofrito (optional, but add some garlic if you leave this out)

Saute onions in a bit of oil until softened. Add remaining ingredients and simmer over low heat until you can no longer resist the delicious aroma wafting through your house (at least two hours).

Sugar might seem unnecessary or weird, and I swear that Paula Deen did not tell me to do it!! The acidity of the tomatoes needed to be tamed during my taste tests and the tiny bit of sugar did the trick. This trick is something that is worthy of remembering, I pull it out of my sleeve frequently.

Ode to Hatch Green Chiles

April 16th, 2009
by: Blue

Hatch green chile of mine,  you are so divine
Grown in Hatch, New Mexico, by way of a vine.
You’re planted in Spring, and harvested in Fall
To find you at harvest, if I had to, I’d crawl.

You grace my enchiladas, queso and salsa
My soups and pasta; lots of dishes in mi casa.
Hatch green chiles, my chiles, mi corazón
Why are you elusive, can I grow you at home?

Alas,  in Hatch, New Mexico magic is grown
The chiles grown here can’t be duplicated at home.
Grown in rich river-sediment soil and cool Rio Grande water
As long as I have you, other chiles don’t matter.

Oh Hatch green chiles, please, never leave me
To you I’m addicted, I’m devoted to thee.

On Hatch Green Chiles:
The culinary holy trinity in Blue and Sue’s house is Hatch green chiles, onion, and garlic.  Yes, we are fans.  Justifiably?  Absolutely, ask any chef. And just one comment about my silly little poem – you CAN duplicate Hatch green chiles at home.  As long as you live in Hatch, New Mexico, that is.  As for the rest of us, we have to be dedicated and devoted fans with the determination to keep them on hand year-round.

Once a year in the fall (around August), Hatch green chiles make an appearance at my local grocery stores (HEB and Central Market).  Sue also finds them around this time of year in her local grocery store in West Texas (United).  While they are there, they can be purchased fresh in the produce section.  But the BEST thing about their appearance in August is when there are huge roasters outside the store, where they roast the fresh peppers on site and on demand.  The wonderful aroma of the roasting chiles is amazing, and calls to my soul.  I prefer buying them roasted in mass quantities because they are much easier to peel when they have been frozen after the roasting,  plus I love the convenience of pulling the real deal out of my freezer whenever I want.    And, face it, I really don’t want to have to roast my own chiles unless I have too.  Last year I bought two cases, about 40 pounds, and froze them (8 or so peppers per quart freezer bag).  For now, I still have some in my freezer, and if I’m lucky my supply will last until August 2009 when I will be able to purchase more.  If they don’t last, I will buy three cases next time.

When I lived in Mississippi, my local groceries did not ever carry fresh or roasted Hatch green chiles.  I was sad.  Actually the state of mexican food overall is sad in Mississippi. Tortillas have a shelf life of 12 months there.  What a crime! My birthday gift to myself every year or so while I lived there was ordering Hatch green chiles online, here is one resource. There are tons of other places on the internet that you could order them from, just do a google search on “hatch green chiles”.  Again, I am addicted, which is obvious since bearing the expense of ordering them online was a far better choice for me than not having them at all.

On acceptable substitutes for roasted Hatch green chiles:
1.  Blue and Sue can find frozen, chopped Hatch green chiles in the freezer section of the grocery.  Albuquerque Tortilla Company is one company that has hot and mild green chiles.  You can order them online if you can’t find them in your grocery.

2.  Buy fresh anaheim green chiles and roast them yourself.  Anaheim chiles are not exactly the same as Hatch chiles but they are a passable substitute.  You can roast them over the open flame of your stovetop gas burner. Hold the pepper with a tong over the flame, turn, turn, turn -  until the chile is blackened on all sides.  Or you can roast them under the broiler in the oven.  Set broiler to high, roast the peppers on the highest oven rack, turn the peppers occasionally until all sides are blackened.  Once the peppers are lovely and blackened place them (still hot) in a ziploc bag.  Seal the bag, wrap the bag in a towel and let sit until cool.  When they are cool you can freeze them – or simply immediately peel the blackened skin off the peppers in order to bless one of your recipes with their presence.

3.  Canned green chiles by Hatch Chile Company  are pretty good.  I actually recommend their entire line of products, ranging from various enchilada sauces, to peppers, to diced tomatoes with green chiles.

4.  My absolute last choice as a substitute for Hatch green chiles would be canned green chiles made by any company besides Hatch Chile Company.

Hatch Potatoes Au Gratin

April 13th, 2009
by: Blue

I made these for Easter dinner.  That is not why this is called “Hatch Potatoes Au Gratin”, but it does fit nicely with the whole Easter theme!  I used Hatch Green Chiles to spice this up, which we adore – the dish was creamy, cheesy and spicy (the perfect flavor combination as far as I’m concerned).  The chiles can, however, be left out if you want a more traditional approach.

1 1/2 – 2 pounds potatoes (any kind, peeled or unpeeled, whatever your preference is)
3 cups milk, or half and half, or heavy cream
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups cheese (I used cheddar)
3/4 cup roasted Hatch green chiles (optional)
white pepper/pepper/salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Wash potatoes (peel them if you want) and thinly slice. 

In a saucepan, melt the butter and whisk in the flour (yes, you start with a roux, but this will be a very light roux).  Stir constantly for a few minutes until the flour is a very light golden brown.  Add the milk/half and half/heavy cream, whisk constantly until mixture starts coming to a boil and thickens, about 5-10 minutes.  Add cheese and green chiles, continue stirring until cheese is melted and sauce is thickened and creamy.  Season to taste with white pepper and salt.

Spray a casserole pan with non-stick spray.  Place 1/3 of the potatoes in a layer in the pan and lightly salt them.  Pour 1/3 of the cheese sauce over the first layer.  Repeat layers two more times, ending with sauce on top.  Bake for 1 hour, check potatoes for doneness, continue baking if needed.

There are lots of things that could be done with this recipe.  Be creative with the kinds of cheese you use – try gruyere, colby jack, jarlsberg, swiss – or a combination of several kinds, e.g. 1 cup chedder plus 1/2 cup fresh parmesean – the possibilities are endless.  Jalapenos would be a good substitute for the green chiles.  So would sun-dried tomatoes.  You can also turn this dish into macaroni and cheese simply by substituting cooked macaroni for the potatoes (layer in the same method as described for the potatoes).

Sue’s Kickin’ Grits

April 1st, 2009
by: Blue

Baby you ain’t had grits until you’ve had these grits. To me, this paired with a pot of pinto beans is the ultimate comfort food. I’ve taken this dish to potlucks at work and have had people say “I don’t like grits but my God these are incredible”. Yes, they are. Thanks Mom, this recipe rocks.

Blue and Sue are very picky when it comes to buying grits. Bob’s Red Mill grits are far superior to any other grits on the market. We find them in the grocery store, they are also available online.

2 cups grits
8 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks butter
24 oz velveeta, cubed
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 eggs
2 tablespoons red wine, or vermouth, or tequila, or whiskey, or beer, or….(fill in the blank)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon tabasco
1 12 oz can or 1/2 cup Hatch green chiles (or more, depends on how hot you like it)
2 cups corn

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Bring water to a boil, slowly stir in grits, lower heat a bit, and cook about 10 minutes until thick. Remove from heat. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into 9×13 pan and cook for 1 hour.

This recipe can be halved…


March 23rd, 2009
by: Blue

1 can diced tomatoes (or substitute fresh)
Hatch green chiles to taste (my personal favorite, I use at least 6 because I like it HOT), or substitute jalapenos to taste
1/2 cup sofrito
Salt/pepper to taste

Throw everything into a food processor and process to desired consistency. Add more garlic/onion if needed.