My Jeta Farms CSA share this week contained New Mexico green chilies. The CSA farmer told me he had gotten the seeds from a New Mexico farmer and had grown the peppers here on his farm this year. They were beautiful. I did some research and learned more about these green chilies.
They are deep green peppers, five or six inches in length, and have been cultivated throughout New Mexico for quite a long time. Native peoples there still grow some of the older heirloom varieties, and there are newer varieties planted all over the state, as well.
The chilies can have a bit of a kick to them, so taste the sauce and do not use too much when preparing the enchiladas, if you do not like it too spicy.
In New Mexico the chilies are fire-roasted, peeled, chopped and made into a well-known sauce. The sauce can be used on a lot of dishes. You can have green chile sauce with your breakfast eggs, on enchiladas, in a stew made with pork for dinner or in any dish you think you may like it on.
Dilemma – what is the correct spelling – chile or chili? In my research I also discovered this spelling controversy and my spellchecker wants me to use chili.
From the Los Angeles Times:
Las Cruces, N.M. — Chili vs. chile.
The war over how to spell New Mexico’s most valuable vegetable crop continues to rage for the head of the Chile Pepper Institute at New Mexico State University.
Paul Bosland, director of the institute and the school’s chief chile breeder, has been trying for years to get everyone to spell chile–the hot peppers or the plant from which the peppers come–with an “e.” He says chili–the spicy dish of meat and sometimes beans–should be spelled with an “i.”
“A lot of people argue about it,” he said.
The word chile originated from the Aztec word “chil,” meaning pepper. Bosland said the Spanish added an “e” to the end of the word to make it a noun in their language.
Advertisements lining the back roads in the lower Rio Grande Valley, where most of New Mexico’s peppers are grown, spell it chile. Just across the border in Texas, restaurants advertise their state dish as “chili.”
Bosland has heard quite a few arguments against the New Mexico way of spelling chile.
“One person said you can’t use c-h-i-l-e because that’s the name of a country. That’s true, but Turkey seems to have done quite well,” he said. “Some say the English spell it c-h-i-l-l-i. Well, they also spell color with a “u.”
Webster’s Dictionary helps to complicate the matter. It provides three spellings–chili, chile and chilli–that are all defined as either hot peppers or a dish of meat and spices.
The Associated Press uses chili. Norman Goldstein, AP Stylebook editor, says the “i” spelling is more commonly used in most other parts of the nation.
The Los Angeles Times spells the vegetable “chile” and the spicy soup “chili.” The sauce made of chile, onion and tomato? Chile sauce.
Chicken and Green Chile Enchiladas
You may also use leftover, cooked chicken, if you have it on hand, instead of cooking the chicken breasts, as described below. If you do, then use prepared chicken broth.
I use 6 inch corn tortillas. If you use a different size, you will have to adjust the recipe amounts.
For the Chicken
1 1⁄2 lbs. chicken breasts
1 small carrot
1 small onion
1 garlic clove
For the Enchiladas
8 soft 6 inch white corn tortillas
1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese mix, divided
5 scallions, chopped
Make the chicken:
In a large saucepan, place the chicken breasts, carrot, onion and garlic. Add enough water to cover and bring to a simmer.
Let simmer until the meat is cooked through and the broth is flavorful, about 30 minutes.
Strain, reserving both the broth and the chicken separately. Let the chicken rest until cool enough to handle.
Shred the meat and discard the bones and skin. Set aside.
Reserve 1 ½ cups of broth for the sauce and 1 cup for softening tortillas.
Make the green chile sauce, recipe below.
Combine the shredded chicken, chopped scallions and ½ cup of cheese in a mixing bowl.
Make the enchiladas:
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Cover the bottom of a 13 by 9 inch glass baking dish or a dish that will fit 8 enchiladas in a single layer with a thin layer of green chile sauce.
Heat the 1 cup of chicken broth.
To soften the tortillas so they can be rolled without breaking, dip them very briefly in the hot broth, until softened slightly.
Working with one tortilla at a time, distribute about 3 tablespoons of the shredded chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla.
Roll the tortilla loosely into a cigar shape to cover the filling, then transfer seam side down to the prepared baking dish.
Repeat with the remaining tortillas and chicken, placing the enchiladas snugly side by side.
Ladle additional green chile sauce over the top to coat all the tortillas.
Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the sauce, cover with foil and bake until the enchiladas are heated through and the sauce is beginning to bubble, about 20 minutes.
Remove the foil and bake until the top is browned and bubbling, about 15 minutes more.
Serve the enchiladas with sour cream, if desired.
New Mexico Green Chile Sauce
I double the recipe, so I can freeze some of the sauce for another Mexican dish.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1⁄2 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons masa harina flour (corn flour) or regular flour
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 1⁄2 cups chicken stock, see above
1 cup chopped roasted and peeled New Mexico Hatch green chilies
1⁄4 teaspoon dried oregano
To prepare the peppers:
The peppers need to be roasted on the grill or under a broiler before making the sauce.
Place the chiles on an outdoor grill or under the broiler and roast until the skin is charred and blistered, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Avoid completely blackening the chiles; you’re looking for them to be about 40% to 50% charred.
Using tongs, turn the chiles over and roast on the other side until the skin is charred and blistered, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Remove the chiles from the grill or broiler and place them in a paper bag, food-safe plastic bag or heat-safe bowl.
Close the bag or cover the bowl, and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes. The steam will help loosen the peel from the chiles.
When cool enough to handle, pull the skins off and set aside.
To prepare the sauce:
(I do not like the sauce chunky, so I puree the chopped peppers with half of the chicken broth first and then add it to the sauce.)
In a medium sauce pan, saute the onion and garlic in the oil over medium-high heat, until tender (about 3 minutes).
Stir in the flour, cumin, salt and pepper and cook over medium heat, stirring, for 2 minutes.
Stir in the stock and simmer until thick and smooth.
Stir in the chiles and oregano.
Cool the sauce and store in refrigerator, covered, for up to one day.
What is great about grilling a whole chicken is that you not only get a delicious BBQ dinner but you also have plenty of chicken leftover for a few other meals during the week.
So what can you use that leftover chicken for?
Sandwiches and Panini
Add to Pasta
Topping for Pizza
Mexican tacos and enchiladas
How To Grill Chicken The Easy Way
Butterflying the chicken before grilling is an excellent way to cook chicken on the grill.
Flattening the chicken exposes more surface area to heat, so overall cooking time is reduced. That means you can slash about 15 minutes off the usually cooking time.
Another benefit is that chicken has two different kinds of meat that are cooked through at two different temperatures. Breast meat starts drying out after it reaches 150° F, but dark leg meat isn’t thoroughly cooked until 165° to 170° F. By opening up the chicken and cooking it flat brings both kinds of meat to the correct temperature at the same time. This method also produces crispy skin, if that is to your likeness.
Weber Video on how to butterfly a chicken.
One 4-pound chicken
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon packed light-brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
In a small bowl, whisk together the rub ingredients.
Using kitchen shears, cut along both sides of the chicken backbone; discard the backbone. Turn the chicken breast side up and press down firmly on the breast bone to crack and flatten it. Remove the wing tips.
Transfer the flattened chicken to a medium baking dish. Spread the rub over the entire chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours before grilling.
Light an outdoor grill and oil the grates.
Grill the chicken, skin side down, over medium heat until the skin is browned and crisp, about 10 minutes. Turn the chicken skin side up, cover and grill over low heat until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Use an instant read meat thermometer to check to see if it is cooked through.
Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Carve the chicken and serve.
Corn on the Cob, Baked Beans and Coleslaw are all good side dishes to serve with BBQ chicken. However, today I made asparagus on the grill and a corn saute because I was in the mood for something a little different.
Grilled Asparagus with Egg Dressing
1 lb asparagus
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup Ranch Dressing, See recipe below.
1 hard-boiled egg, diced
Cut the woody stems from the asparagus and wash well. Dry the asparagus on some paper towels.
Place them on a sheet of heavy-duty foil that has a few holes poked into it. Place the foil on a plate or tray.
Arrange the asparagus in a single layer on the foil. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place the foil (Do not close the foil – leave flat) with the asparagus on the grill, cover and cook for 6 minutes.
Turn the asparagus, cover and cook until tender, about 6-8 more minutes.
Remove the asparagus to a long plate. Drizzle the ranch dressing across all the center of all the asparagus and sprinkle with the diced egg.
Homemade Ranch Dressing
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon yellow mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon dried dill (or a teaspoon chopped fresh)
In a medium bowl, stir together the buttermilk and mayonnaise until fully mixed. Add in the other ingredients, adjusting for taste.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups. Keeps for a week, covered in the fridge.
Summer Corn Saute
I like to make an extra portion of this simple and easy corn dish, because leftovers are so handy to add to tacos o r to a stuffing for vegetables.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 cups fresh corn kernels
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped chives
Melt the butter in a medium skillet. Add the corn, salt and pepper; sauté for 3- 4 minutes or until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.
Sprinkle the corn with chives and serve.
When the weather heats up, take advantage of the all the fresh produce that is available during the summer months. Many recipes for creating salads or cold soups do not require any cooking. If an ingredient needs to be cooked, do it early in the day and serve it chilled. Below are a few ideas to keep you cool, including a delicious dessert.
Cold Appetizer Plate
Burrata Cheese drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Olives, Roasted Peppers, Fresh Melon
The breasts can be cooked early in the day and the rest of the recipe can be prepared later. This makes enough so that there will be plenty for several meals. Serve over lettuce with sliced tomatoes and cut up veggies.
Cooking the chicken breasts
1 1/2 pounds of bone-in, skin on chicken breasts
Good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts in a baking dish and rub the skin with olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
Roast for 40-45 minutes, until the chicken registers 165 degrees F on an instant read thermometer .
Set aside until cool enough to handle.
Remove the meat from the bones and save the skin and bones to make chicken broth.
Dice the chicken into bite-size pieces and place in a bowl.
For the salad
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped sweet (Vidalia, Walla Walla) onion
1/2 cup good mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup red grapes, cut in half
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix the mayonnaise and Dijon mustard together in a mixing bowl with a cover.
Add the celery and onion; stir, Add the chicken and mix carefully to keep the chicken from breaking up.
Fold in the pecans and grapes. Adjust salt and pepper, if needed. Cover and chill.
Triggerfish with Caper Sauce
Triggerfish were once ignored by commercial fishermen, however, they are now considered among the finest fish on the Gulf seafood menu. Their clean white meat carries a uniquely sweet flavor when cooked. Since this fish lives in warm waters, you might not find it in your area. Use any thin mild white fish fillets in the recipe below, if you cannot find triggerfish. If you do see it in your fish market, be sure to give it a try. I like to serve this dish with the tomato salad shown below.
2 ounces butter, room temperature
1 lb triggerfish fillets
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 ounces white wine
Hot sauce, to taste
Half a small onion, chopped fine or one shallot
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon capers, rinsed
Add the butter to a saute pan or skillet and place over medium heat.
Season the fish with the salt and pepper and dredge the fillets in all-purpose flour.
Place each fillet in the skillet and saute until light golden brown.
Add a few drops of hot sauce to the pan as the fish browns.
After the first side is golden brown, turn the fish over and cook until the second side is golden brown.
Remove the fish from the pan to a plate. Reduce the heat to low and add the wine to the skillet.
Add the onion or shallot and stir slowly but continuously for about 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and capers.
Continue to stir until a thin sauce forms. Return the fish to the skillet and spoon the sauce over the fillets.
Place the fish on serving plates and spoon any sauce in the skillet onto the fish.
Tomato Feta Salad
4-5 medium plum tomatoes, sliced thin
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
2 tablespoons good quality white wine vinegar or Champagne vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Place the sliced tomatoes on a serving plate.
In a mixing bowl combine the onion, vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, basil and parsley and toss well.
Pour the dressing over the sliced tomatoes and sprinkle with the feta cheese. Serve at room temperature.
Makes 12 squares
1 (3-4 ounce) package chocolate pudding mix
Two 3-ounce packages ladyfingers, split
1/3 cup chocolate liqueur (Kahlua)
1/3 cup brewed espresso or strong coffee
One 8-ounce carton mascarpone cheese
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, grated
Unsweetened cocoa powder
Do ahead: Prepare the chocolate pudding mix according to the directions on the package. Chill in the refrigerator.
Mix the coffee and Kahlua together in a shallow dish.
In a medium mixing bowl, beat together the mascarpone cheese, whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer just until stiff peaks form.
Add the chocolate syrup and mix until just combined.
To assemble the tiramisu:
Line the bottom of an 8 x 8 x 2-inch or 11 x 7 x 2 inch baking dish with some of the ladyfingers dipped in the espresso/Kahlua mixture.
Spoon a thin layer of chocolate pudding over the ladyfingers in the baking dish.
Spoon half of the mascarpone mixture over the chocolate pudding layer, spreading it evenly.
Sprinkle with grated bittersweet chocolate.
Top with another layer of ladyfingers dipped in espresso, followed by chocolate pudding and the mascarpone cheese mixture.
Cover and chill for 6 to 24 hours. Sift cocoa powder over the top before serving.
Planning your menu before you go shopping is a practical skill that will save you time and money. At this time of year, you want easy to prepare meals that utilize what is in season and you want to cook healthy meals most of the time. This does take a little planning but well worth the time. Here are a few ideas to help you plan next week’s menu.
Serve this fish entrée with basil pesto pasta and yellow summer squash.
4 white fish fillets (about 6 oz each), such as flounder, tilapia, halibut, etc.
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 to 1 ½ cups Italian seasoned panko crumbs
Olive oil plus olive oil cooking spray
1 cup Marinara sauce, heated
4 slices mozzarella cheese
Cover a baking sheet with heavy-duty foil and coat with olive oil cooking spray.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Brush each fish fillet on all sides with the mayonnaise.
Place the coated fish in the panko crumbs and press the crumbs into the fish on all sides.
Place the fillets on the prepared baking pan and drizzle the top of each fillet with a little olive oil.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and place hot marinara sauce on each fillet (about ¼ cup on each) and top with a slice of cheese.
Return the pan to the oven and cook about 5 minutes more or until the cheese is melted.
Creamy Cauliflower Pasta
Serve this pasta entrée with a tomato salad.
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium shallots, chopped fine
1 head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into small florets
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 minced garlic cloves
12 ounces short pasta
1/2 cup heavy cream
For the topping:
Combine the breadcrumbs and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium-low heat.
Cook, stirring, until the mixture is well toasted and golden-brown.
Stir in the thyme; remove from heat, and reserve.
For the cauliflower:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a medium baking dish, combine the shallots, cauliflower, garlic, salt and red pepper.
Bake for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally or until the cauliflower is tender and browned.
Remove the dish from the oven and stir in the cream and Parmesan cheese. Set aside while the pasta cooks.
For the pasta:
Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and return the pasta to the pan.
Turn the heat to very low and add the cauliflower sauce. Heat for a minute or two and pour into a pasta serving.
Sprinkle the breadcrumb topping over the top of the pasta and serve.
Pork Chops Pizzaiola
Pizzaiola is a term used for a Neapolitan style pizza tomato sauce. I like to use it over pork cutlets or beef steak. Mashed potatoes and a green vegetable are good sides for this entrée.
For the pork
4 boneless pork chops, about 4 oz each
1 egg, beaten
1 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
For the sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bell pepper, finely diced
1 small onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 ½ cups crushed Italian tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 basil sprig
For the pork:
Trim the pork chops of all fat. Pound them between sheets of plastic wrap until about a ¼ inch thick.
Beat the egg with a little water. Season the pork with salt and pepper.
Dredge the pork cutlets in the Italian breadcrumbs. Place on a plate and refrigerate until ready to cook.
It is important to refrigerate the breaded pork for a few hours, so that the breading stays put when the pork is cooked.
For the sauce:
Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan and add the onion, bell pepper and garlic.
Cook over low heat until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients and let the sauce simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes.
To cook the pork:
Cover the bottom of a large skillet with a thin coating of olive oil. Heat.
Add the pork cutlets and cook until brown on one side, turn and cook the second side until brown.
Drain the chops on paper towels. Place on serving plates and top with the Pizzaiola sauce.
I usually make extra grilled vegetables, so I can use them in a frittata or quiche.
Serve this entrée with an Italian Mixed Greens Salad.
2 cups leftover grilled potatoes, peppers and onions
See recipe link
1 cup cooked spinach
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
6 large eggs beaten
Salt and pepper to taste
3 slices of your favorite cheese
Preheat the broiler
Heat the oil and butter together in an ovenproof nonstick skillet.
Add the potato and pepper mixture and cook until hot. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Scatter the crumbled bacon over the mixture.
Pour the beaten eggs over all and cook until the eggs are set on the bottom.
Distribute the cooked spinach over the top of the frittata.
Break the cheese slices into quarters and place them evenly over the spinach.
Place the skillet under the broiler and cook the frittata until the cheese melts.
Remove and let rest for 3 or 4 minutes. Cut into serving pieces.
Serve this quick cooking chicken entrée with noodles dressed with butter, Parmesan cheese and parsley and a green vegetable.
Two 6 ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded until thin and even
Ground white pepper
1/4 cup finely ground all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
2 tablespoons small capers, drained
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
Season the chicken on both sides with salt and white pepper. Lightly coat in flour. Shake off excess.
Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the olive oil and butter, swirl them around the pan, and add the chicken.
Turn the heat to high and saute the chicken 2 minutes per side.
Pour in the wine, swirl it around the pan for 20 seconds, and turn the chicken over.
Add the lemon juice and capers, swirl them around in the pan and turn off the heat. Serve immediately.