This post is from KS contributing writer Lori Hernandez of Three Acre Farm.
What can I say? Our family loves Mexican food! I really do try to vary our dinner options but somehow we end up eating some sort of Mexican inspired dish about 3 nights a week… and no one is complaining, so I’m going to go with it!
When Robyn, our KS site editor, asked me if I wanted to try a sample of Zia Green Chile Company’s Hatch Chiles, it was a no brainer. Umm, YES!!!
I’ll admit, I really didn’t know what Hatch Chiles were, so I did a little research, which only made me want them even more. On Zia Green Chile Company’s website, it says:
“Georgia has its peaches, Idaho has its potatoes, and New Mexico has its Hatch Chiles.
Hatch Chiles, a crop harvested once per year in the fall, can only be grown in the Hatch Valley of Southern New Mexico due to its high altitude, dry climate, and rich soil. Like products of the Champagne region of France, a true Hatch Chile comes from nowhere other than the Hatch Valley of New Mexico. It’s about terroir.
Known for their flame roasted and smoke kissed flavor, Zia’s Hatch Chiles are an ingredient that brings an addictive, spicy flavor to virtually anything.”
Sign me up! I couldn’t wait to try them.
Why Zia Hatch Chiles vs. Another Brand
When they arrived at my door, I was pleased to notice two things about the chiles:
- They are packaged in glass, not a BPA lined can. As someone who prefers to avoid food in metal cans as much as possible, I appreciated this feature.
- The ingredient list is short and sweet! “Hatch chiles, Lime Juice, Garlic, and Salt”. Nothing weird or unpronounceable. Just real ingredients, like something I would make in my own kitchen. You know at KS we love being able to enjoy health real foods easily and these definitely fit the bill.
I opened up a jar of the “Medium” Hatch Chiles and ate a spoonful just to try them out… and was blown away by the flavor.
Just the right amount of heat, hints of smokiness and a tart lime finish.
How to Enjoy Hatch Chiles
Immediately, I started thinking of all the ways I could incorporate these delicious chiles into our meals…
- Scrambled Eggs
- Mexican Rice
- Soup/Stew (maybe in Katie’s Black Bean soup…yum!)
- Guacamole (don’t forget to make a big batch and freeze it!)
- Roast Beef/Pork/Chicken
- Breakfast Burritos
- Southwestern Eggrolls
Our family loves enchiladas, so I decided to incorporate the Hatch chiles into my existing recipe I created a few years ago. They turned out to be a fantastic addition and now they they will be a permanent staple in the recipe, making them New Mexican Enchiladas (and bonus! Now I actually have the recipe written down, instead of just in my head, so I can share it with people).
Why Enchiladas are an Easy Meal
These enchiladas are simple, delicious and easy to make. It’s my “go-to” dish when I’m bringing a meal to a family in need. Everyone loves them… and I love how easy they are to make ahead of time, so I can do the prep in the morning (or day before) and pop them in the oven at dinner time on a night that we need a quick dinner, with minimal clean up.
A few notes:
- The recipe makes a full 9×13 pan, but you could always divide the recipe into 2 smaller pans and save one for later (or bring it to someone in need). I have not tried freezing the uncooked enchiladas, but I don’t see why you couldn’t…
- This dish is a great way to use up leftover meat from a previous meal. I usually make these enchiladas the day after we have roasted beef, pork, venison or chicken.
- Vegetarian? Just skip the meat and add another can of beans instead, and maybe a bit more cheese.
- We prefer using corn tortillas, but often end up using flour if that is all I have on hand.
- Enchilada sauce is great, but any kind of salsa works in a pinch. I like the Frontera brand Green Chili enchilada sauce (it comes in 8 oz pouches, so I buy 2), but you can use whatever your family likes!
- The Hatch chiles come in 3 spiciness levels: Sweet and Mild, Medium and Hot. I stuck with Medium since my son is really picky about spicy food. He thought this was just the right amount of spiciness.
- Mexican rice (or quinoa) and sour cream, salsa and guacamole are the prefect compliments to this meal.
- 12 tortillas, medium sized (flour or corn)
- 1 16oz can of refried beans
- 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese, divided
- 1 16oz (approximately) can of salsa or enchilada sauce of your choice
- 2-3 cups of cooked shredded meat (chicken, pork, beef, venison, etc)
- ½ cup sliced black olives
- ¼ cup Hatch chiles (I used "Medium" - add more or less depending on desired spiciness level)
- 2 tsp taco seasoning
- Olive oil or butter for greasing pan
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9x13 pan.
- Pour half of the salsa/enchilada sauce into the pan and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan.
- In a large bowl, combine the filling ingredients: meat, refried beans, half of the cheese, Hatch chiles and taco seasoning.
- Set out the tortillas and divide the filling mixture evenly between them. Roll up each tortilla and place them, seam side down, in the 9x13 pan.
- Top the tortillas with remaining salsa/enchilada sauce. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top, then garnish with black olives.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown.
- Serve alongside rice and top with sour cream, salsa and guacamole.
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I can’t wait to try these Hatch chiles in more of our meals. It’s so easy to reach in the fridge and add a few spoonfuls to our meals… or breakfast burritos. Yum!
Now I understand why Hatch chiles have their own “cult followers”..and I guess I’m one of them!