Hatch chile season is in full swing, guys! The Hungryman and I look forward to it every year, and with each passing season our appreciation and love for these mild to spicy, meaty-fleshed chiles from Hatch, New Mexico (hence the name) seem to grow. Central Market (one of the biggest groceries in Austin) hosts an annual Hatch chile festival, and for those couple of weeks, the chiles take center stage. Literally. And it’s not uncommon to see people walking out of the store with cases of the light green peppers, as they are only here for a limited time.
As soon as we stepped out of our car, we could smell that fragrant roasted scent we’ve come to LOVE. And what a glorious sight to behold, seeing the chiles getting deliciously scorched inside the spinning drums. The Hungryman caught some video footage of the day…Be sure to click on “HD” located in the bottom right corner.
Just as you saw in the video, Hatch chiles are super versatile, and they are sure to spice up and elevate any dish. Just to give you some ideas, in the past, I’ve made a Chicken Burger, Shepherd’s Pie, Beef and Avocado Panini (the Hungryman’s personal favorite), and Black Bean Soup. Looking at the old photos is very humbling. If any of you are just getting into food photography, let this be a testament that your skills WILL improve over time with a little practice and determination. If interested, you can find the equipments that I use and some helpful resources in this post.
As I noticed a sharp increase in these recipes being pinned on Pinterest, I thought it was time I share another Hatch-licious recipe.
Seriously, nothing beats the aroma of roasted Hatch chiles! I’m still lobbying for someone to turn it into a scented candle because I would seriously purchase it. Anyone with me? This guide shows you the different methods for roasting – I normally use the Betty’s Broiler Method. However, as you saw in the video, I took a little shortcut this time as I found pre-roasted ones. They also freeze beautifully so you can stock up as much as your heart desires!
This Hatch Chile Southwestern Quinoa Casserole was adapted from my Mexican Chicken and Quinoa Casserole recipe, which I’m pretty sure is the most popular recipe on this blog. It’s simple, healthy, tasty, and can feed an army! If you want to stay away from cheese all together, you can enjoy it as a quinoa salad (pictured above).
But if you’re one who craves that velvety, ooey-gooey element, then spread a layer on top and bake in the oven. Since the mixture is all cooked, it doesn’t need to be in there for too long – just until the cheese has melted the way you like.
Top with cilantro…perhaps even guacamole, sour cream…
And dig in! I used the mild variety of Hatch chiles, but the batch I got was definitely packing some heat. I tasted a couple of pieces before mixing it with the other ingredients, and unlike other chiles that will warm you up slowly, the spiciness was on the front end and I could feel my endorphins being released. However, once mixed in and baked, the heat mellowed out and all that was left was the beautifully distinct Hatch flavor. Now combine that with the sweetness of corn, the earthiness of black beans, the nuttiness of quinoa, the tang of salsa…well, let’s just says this dish has got flavor to last for days! So if you’re lucky enough to have Hatch chiles in your area, be sure to pick some up. But you better act quick! They’re not around for very long.
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 cup chopped roasted Hatch chiles (mild or hot)
- 1 cup corn (fresh or frozen)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, no sodium added
- 1 (7¾ oz) can of your favorite salsa
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup reduced-fat shredded cheddar
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Cook quinoa: Bring pot of water to a boil, add quinoa, and then lower heat to simmer. Cover, and cook until soft and liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over med-high heat. Add oil and sauté onion until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 min. Add rest of the vegetables and combine well. Add tomato paste. Add chicken. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl and stir in quinoa and beans.
- Add salsa and water to the same pan, bring to a boil, then reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Combine to the mixture.
- Pour the mixture into a 9 inch by 13 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Serve with cilantro, sour cream, guacamole, etc.