Posted at: 08/14/2012 2:34 PM

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Turn Up the Heat with Hatch Chile Peppers

Hatch chiles are a Southwest favorite, named after the original growing area in Hatch, New Mexico.  This pepper has a short season, and Jen Haugen, Registered Dietitian at Austin Hy-Vee, will show you how to make them last for the months to come.

Instructions for Freezing Hatch Chile Peppers


Select bright green and glossy peppers that are firm to the touch.  Avoid those with soft spots.  Wash before starting the freezing process.


Blistering will help remove the tough outer skin.  Place chiles on a grill at high heat.  Roast 3 minutes on each side or until blistered.  Place roasted chiles in large bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam for a few minutes.  When cool enough to handle, carefully peel charred and loose skin off of chiles. 


Pack whole chiles into freezer bags in a single layer and seal.  Chiles peel easily after defrosting.
To make salsa: Blend chiles with garlic and salt to taste; put in freezer-safe containers to use later.

Hatch Chile Chicken Enchiladas
Serves 6

4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 cup chopped onion
4 Hatch chile peppers, seeded and chopped
2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
¼ cup flour
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2-1/2 cups Hy-Vee reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
1-1/2 cups shredded Hatch chili cheese, divided
12 (6-inch) Smart & Delicious Soft Mini Wraps (in the HealthMarket)
Salsa, optional

All you do
1.    To make filling, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté onions and chile peppers until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in chicken. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
2.    To make sauce, melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter in same skillet over medium heat. Whisk in flour and black pepper and cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Whisk in chicken broth. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in Greek yogurt and 1/2 cup cheese.  Stir 1/2 cup sauce into chicken filling.
3.    Quickly dip each tortilla in remaining sauce. Fill each tortilla with about 1/4 cup of filling. Roll up and arrange in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Pour remaining sauce on top and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese.
4.    Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with salsa, if desired.


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Jen Haugen represents Hy-Vee as a nutrition expert promoting healthy eating throughout the community.  Jen is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.