Last week, I was at the grocery store and I was watching this couple in their 30's carry on an argument by the checkstands that was worthy of a TV reality show. Man, there was a river of tears, tons of yelling, gesticulating of mass proportions and it all culminated in the gal stomping away in a dramatic huff, yelling obscenities over her shoulder. Looking around at the other shoppers, I noticed everyone was watching the spectacle. I'm pretty sure like me- they had thought this women was going to throw herself down on the ground, kicking and screaming at any given moment, to throw a full blown temper tantrum. I'm not sure what the couple's tiff was about but it did make me glad that Mr.S and I aren't the type of couple to behave like that in public. Sure we have disagreements from time to time. In fact, he has this crazy idea that I have an issue with never admitting to being wrong ( as if!), but neither of us are screamers or drama queens.
In fact, I told him when we started dating- preschoolers scream, we're adults. We discuss. So far, that's worked well for us. Sure sometimes, we have to agree to disagree...but isn't that what mature adults do? I couldn't imagine pitching a hissy fit in a grocery store at my age or dating a guy who would engage in such jackassery as screaming at me on the street. Anyhow, I thanked my lucky stars and continued my grocery shopping and that's when I stumbled on some Hatch chiles! I'm pretty sure it was the universe's way of thanking me for not acting like an idiot. :)
Hatch chiles are quite delicious and are around only for a short while (typically August and September). So get them while you can. They're grown in the Hatch Valley in Southwestern NM and look like an Anaheim chile but have a distinct difference in taste from the other chiles available at the markets. The heat levels on the Hatch can vary, so make sure you check to see which kind you have before purchasing. Mr.S. was kind enough to roast a few pounds of them for me at his house and in the process perfuming his entire neighborhood with its strong, delicious peppery scent. We took the dark, blistered chiles from the grill and placed them in Ziploc bags and let them steam in their own heat. Once they cooled, I slipped off the skins, seeded the chiles, wrapped them in Ziploc again and popped them in the freezer. Until this week- when I was ready to get my enchilada on. I decided to make some spicy Hatch chile chicken enchiladas by modifying this recipe from Sunset Magazine with a few ingredients from my local Mexican mercado. The enchiladas came out wonderful. The ones I used were medium-hot, so Kidlet #2 pulled them all out (*sigh* he hates spicy) but I thought they lent a nice smoky, spicy flavor to the enchiladas.
Spicy Hatch Chile Chicken Enchiladas
(based on Sunset Magazine's Green Chile Enchiladas recipe)
1 lb. roasted peeled, seeded Hatch chiles
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
5 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon each , salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups chicken broth, divided
10 corn tortillas (7-8 inches wide)
1 cup Queso Blanco, grated
1 cup + 3 tablespoons sharp cheddar, grated
3/4 lb. Queso Oaxaca, shredded or sliced
2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Heat olive oil and butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add your chopped garlic and cook until fragrant. Add Hatch chiles, salt, and pepper. Cook, giving it a good stir once in awhile. After about 3-4 minutes add 1 cup of broth. Let the mixture simmer until it reduces by a third, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
3. Meanwhile in a small pan, bring the remaining 2 cups of chicken broth to a nice simmer. Quickly dip each tortilla into the broth to soften it and then transfer it to a baking sheet. You have to do it FAST or the tortilla will fall apart in the broth- so dip and skooch. Place the dipped tortilla on the baking sheet so that it is not touching any of the other tortillas (I used 2 baking sheets). You don't want any overlapping because they will stick together.
4. Place equal amounts of Queso Oaxaca, (1 cup) cheddar and chicken on each tortilla. Wrap tortilla around each filling and transfer, seam side down to a 9- by 13-in baking dish.
5. Evenly distribute the Hatch chile sauce over the top of the enchiladas. Top with Queso Blanco plus the 3 tablespoons of cheddar. Bake until cheese is bubbling and browned, 15-20 minutes. Serve with sour cream.