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

Selection:

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

Blistering:

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. 

Freezing:

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.

 

Check out www.hy-vee.com for more delicious recipes.
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.