Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hatching up some Spicy Food!

What do Green Apples, Sage & Hatch Green Chiles have in common? Why...my Hatch Green Chile Stew of course!

When cooking up some Spicy foods & using Hatch Green Chiles I've been testing the limits of dishes which I can mix in these fleeting seasonal favorites. Gloria Chadwick of Foods & Flavors of San Antonio has even created a new blog to pay tribute to this quintessential pepper!

Excitement was in the air the last 2 weeks at our local Grocery stores & markets as the famed Hatch Green Chile Peppers arrived in Texas. So much was the excitement when Hornsfan called me, that I rushed to our grocery store to see if the Hatch Peppers had arrived & had started roasting yet. I'm certain the produce people at our grocery store were thrilled to be rid of the crazy woman who seemed to be stalking them for hot peppers! The New Mexico Hatch Chile folks were even giving away CDs of cooking demos & helpful chile pepper advice. After living South of the Border our Pepper consumption has jumped a heat level or two! When the peppers hit the markets here they are hard to miss as most of the grocers set up a large gas or wood roasting pit. As the Chile Peppers roast they are turned to ensure even roasting & are manned by someone standing nearby with water to keep the flames from getting out of hand. Roasted, blackened & cleaned the Chiles are the perfect addition to so many dishes. How did I know the delectable peppers added enough heat enough at our house? My husband was eating his second bowl of my Green Stew when he had to keep wiping his forehead...one of those hurts so good meals!

The history of the Hatch is a bit murky since the origin somewhere close to 1896 when New Mexico rancher Emilio Ortega carried pepper seeds back to California which became the Anaheim Pepper....those seeds may have indeed been from what was later known as the Hatch Chile. Hybridized, refined & widely touted, the Hatch Chile Pepper is only from Hatch, New Mexico & can have quite a kick when compared to the somewhat milder Anaheim cousin. It is worth noting that these Peppers are in season once each year so if you are lucky enough to find them buy enough to roast an extra pound or two & freeze them. We have eaten them mixed into countless bowls of guacamole as this is probably one our favorite Hatch appetizer to eat this time of year. For a little more information about Hatch Chile Peppers check out this New Mexico site! I'm thinking we might have to try whipping up a batch of "Hatch-a-ritas" before the season is over.

Hatch Green Chile Stew

2 1/2 lbs Pork Loin, trimmed & cut into 1-inch cubes
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Med Onion, diced
2 Cups Water
8 Hatch Green Chile Peppers, roasted, seeded & chopped
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Red Bell Pepper
3 Green Granny Smith Apples, cored, seeded & chopped
5 Fresh Sage leaves, cut into slices or thin strips
1 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Tsp. Celery Salt
Queso Cojita, semi soft Mexican white cheese, grated

Heat oil in large wrought iron dutch oven or large heavy skillet. Brown pork, add the onion, pepper & garlic. Add 2 cups of water, green apples, Hatch Green Chile Peppers, sage & salts. Simmer stew covered for 30 min. Remove lid & simmer for 30 min more till pork is tender. Add water as needed no more than 1 cup at a time. The stew should be thick not thin & soup-like. Serve garnished with Mexican Cojita cheese either crumbled or grated.
Yields 4 servings

This recipe is based on a recipe which was wildly popularized in San Antonio Texas back in the mid 1960's. My mother has a worn Sunday school church cookbook from that time period which this is recipe is based on. This corn bread really can be a meal alone. Enjoy!
Hatch Green Chile Corn Bread

1 Cup Stone Ground Cornmeal
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
2 Eggs
1 Cup Buttermilk
1/2 Cup Melted Shortening or Bacon Renderings
1 Cup Cream Style Corn
1/2 lb. Grated Cheddar Cheese
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Small Onion, diced
2 Roasted, Seeded Green Chile Peppers diced**

In a bowl stir together cornmeal, soda, salt. Beat eggs slightly & add to buttermilk; stir this into the dry ingredients. Add melted shortening or bacon fat. Stir in cream style corn. Mix, add grated cheese, onion, garlic & chile peppers to the cornmeal mixture. Pour into a greased baking pan (9 X 13 inches) Bake @ 375* for 35 min. or till cornbread tests done & is golden brown.
**2 diced pickled jalapenos may be substituted.

Green Chile Dressing

1/3 c. lightly packed cilantro with stems
2 roasted, seeded Green Chilies, chopped
3Tbsp white wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic
1/2c oil
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt,
1/2 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
Mix in blender till smooth...makes 1 1/4 cup

I served this dressing over a simple Spinach Salad with sliced onion, sauteed shrimp & garnished with sliced almonds.


Mary Helen said...

Dee, not only are your recipes mouthwatering, so are your photos!! I'm marching right out to buy ingredients to try these delectable morsels!! Thank you so much for your talented efforts in putting this together!
A fervent fan, Mary Helen

Gloria Chadwick said...

I am so in love with Hatch chiles!! I know what you mean about stalking the grocery store for Hatch chiles. I went to the CM Hatch Festival twice last weekend! Can't get enough... I just wish I had a bigger freezer so I could stock up. I made Hatch chicken last night and, like your husband, was wiping my brow but enjoying every bite.
Love your recipes. I'm definitely going to make your Hatch Green Chile Stew. I tried some Hatch cornbread at CM and it was the best! Thanks for participating in my Hatch Chile Contest. :)

Katherine Aucoin said...

These are my kind of meals. your photos have my mouth watering!

Chef E said...

I love the title Dee and they are right your posts and photos are to die for...but not until I try a few of these recipes...I made a spicy soup for our dinner last night...Spicy is my middle name :) well its really Ann, but I love the sound of that! HA

Anonymous said...

Oh, fabulous recipes with hatch chiles! I just got some yesterday for the first time and looking forward to cooking with them!

Chef Fresco said...

I love spicy food! That shrimp & green chile looks great!

History of Greek Food said...

Beautiful photos and great recipes for lover of spicy foods (yes, I am one of them).

Dee said...

Mary Helen~ Good luck with those Green Chiles!
Gloria~I'm anxious to see how your Hatch Chicken looks, sounds yummy!
Katherine, Chef E, 5 Star, Chef Fresco & History of Greek Food~ Seems like there are so many of us Spicy Food Fans out there. Can't wait to see the Spicy creations you all make soon!

Hornsfan said...

Hatch up some of those rita's and I'll be there in a jiffy!

MaryLea said...

Hey there! I too went to the Central Market Green Chile Fest both last weekend and this weekend. Each weekend I bought a whole box of roasted green chile and came home and peeled them and canned them up! Each box gave me about 10 pints of green chile!! YUMMMMMMM I am hoping that 20 pints will be enough for our family for this year!! I did the same thing last year - only did 3 boxes - and still have several jars left. WooHoo

Mary Helen said...

MaryLea, do you have a recipe for canning the chiles? I'd love to give that a try! Thanks for any advice you can give.

Dee said...

Mary Lea, I am with Mary Helen on that one, do you have a blog you are posting that on? It sounds wonderful. How many boxes?? Sounds great!

MaryLea said...

No blogs, but I am always glad to tell folks about my canning activities. Canning green chile is very easy, but it does have to be pressure canned. Peel, cut off the stem and remove seed from the roasted chile, drop it into a pint or half-pint canning jar, screw on hot lids and pressure can at 12 pounds pressure for 35 minutes. Feel free to send me an e-mail at maryleawright@yahoo.com I live in Irving. I ended up doing 2 boxes this year and canned up 20 pints and 7 half-pints. Yummmmmmm

MaryLea said...

Just as a side note - I am now working on my red chile sauce. I brought back a 25 pound bag of dried red chilies from Las Cruces and am preparing them into red sauce that I will be canning up next. Makes the most AMAZING red-chile-pork!

Abby said...

Bacon grease! That cornbread looks amazing. My husband would love this meal. I'll have to bookmark it!