Tag Archive: green chiles

Spice Up for Spring-Green Enchilada Casserole

All the way home from work I was thinking about Mexican food.  I never got over in a lane where I could turn into any place to get it to take home.  So I had to make my own.

For some reason I bought some flour tortillas the other day while I was shopping.  I think I was intending on a chicken taco salad with the shell baked in some new tortilla bowl molds I bought.  (Another day!)  In the pantry I had all the fixings I needed to make my own Mexican flavored dinner.

When I get hungry for the taste of enchiladas nothing else will do.  All I had were flour tortillas.  I could make burritos or enchiladas; however I settled on this little casserole which now has provided plenty of leftovers.  I don’t usually use refried beans, but these also have the flavor or nachos with the beans.  So I have technically taken care of 2 hankerings I might have.

I used to make Nachos Grande on Sunday night.  A little labor intensive, but so well worth the taste.  Tostada chips spread with the beans (individually), topped with browned ground meat, green chiles, onions, tomatoes and cheese.  Broil until the cheese bubbles and eat them fast while they are still warm.  Andy would warm up the leftovers in the microwave.  That didn’t appeal to me.

I like the taste of raw onions on my enchiladas.  If you don’t, you can brown the onions with the ground meat.

Green Enchilada Casserole

Mexican Hamburgers

I grew up in West Texas during the oil boom of the 50’s and 60’s.   The oil flowed like water and everybody who wanted a job had one.  In those days oil field workers worked 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, 365-days a year.  Holidays were hard to squeeze in with family.  We sometimes had Christmas on an alternate day if Daddy was not going to be home.   Wink is 7 miles from Kermit (nothing to do with the frog).  Wink is famous for the “Wink sink hole” and Roy Orbison (He sang Pretty Woman).   We are talking big west Texas oil towns here.  Some of the best tastin’ food I have ever eaten was right there.  Hamburgers as big as a dinner plate at the diner after  football games, Frito pies at the DQ at lunch,  hot dogs and hamburgers at Cook’s store across the street from the elementary school,  soup and a sandwich at the drug store counter at lunch in Jr. High.  Good memories.  I was sick and missed a class reunion.  I guess that’s what got all this started.

Do you know what a Mexican hamburger is?  I (living in El Paso) had never heard of that, but my mother introduced it to us and even took my family to Wink to eat one.  You would have thought they had invented sliced bread.  Those were the talk of the town at afternoon coffee.  I made these more often than grilled burgers for a while.   The little diner where we went to eat these was deserted.  I wasn’t too sure about this, except my mom was a very picky eater and loved good Mexican food.   The plates of food they produced were huge.  Platter size white flour tortillas were spread with refried beans (pinto not black beans) and filled with fajita flavored burgers fried on the flattop griddle, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, grilled onions and green chilies or jalapeños, and cheese.  These were served with sides of guacamole, cream cheese, and salsa.  These are more or less a folded burrito.   But “drippin’ down your elbows” good food!

I sort of “healthified” these, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to.  If my son had been home they wouldn’t have been so healthy.  I made my own refried beans from leftover beans I had cooked by reducing the liquid and mashing them.  I used whole wheat tortillas.  They actually tasted good toasted on the griddle.

Mexican Hamburgers

  • 1 pound ground meat
  • Fajita seasoning blend
  • 1 can refried beans (I made my own from pinto beans I cooked with not so much salt and no lard)
  • grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack cheese
  • lettuce shredded (like for tacos)
  • diced tomatoes
  • chopped Hatch green chiles (roasted, peeled and diced)
  • grilled onions
  • salsa (hot or not to your taste) (I used my home canned salsa)
  • sour cream
  • avocados sliced or guacamole
  • sliced pickled jalapenos
  • large flour tortillas (I had whole wheat)

Form the ground meat into patties about 5” long by 3” wide.  Sprinkle with the dry fajita seasoning blend or seasoning of your choice.  Set aside.

Grate the cheese, dice the tomatoes, prepare the avocados.  Set up a serving station with all the burger toppings and sides in small dishes so everyone can make theirs according to their taste.

Fry the patties and allow to form a good caramelized crust on both sides.  Meanwhile toast the tortillas in a non-stick skillet or on a round griddle.  Toast just until slightly crisp and warmed.


  • A layer of beans spread on the entire surface of the tortilla
  • Meat
  • Grilled onions
  • Cheese
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Green chiles
  • Avocado/guacamole
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream
  • Fold over to make a very large taco
  • Several napkins

This will make 4 very large Mexican hamburgers.


Sharing this week with:
Growing Home


Thursday Favorite Things Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Green Chile Crab Cakes

Fusion Cooking -(East Coast Meets West Texas)

I like crab cakes and I love green chiles.  Why not give them a try together?  It turned out delicious.  Just the right amount of smokey chile flavor.  The only thing I would do next time is make a tomatillo sauce to serve with them.  Other than that it was a great mix of two of great flavors.  Thanks to Cook’s Illustrated for the no-mayo crab cake recipe. My oldest, Krista, doesn’t like mayo.  How did that happen?  She says this lets the taste of really good crab go un-marred.  All I had to do was roast and peel the chiles and add them into the mix.  Then I topped them with Big Sister’s Pineapple Salsa.  As I said, I would make a tomatillo sauce next time.

Green Chile Crab Cakes

  • 1 pound lump crab meat (Phillips Premium Crab Jumbo or Miller’s Select Lump Crab Meat)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 11/2  cups bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped or diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 4 roasted, peeled, seeded and diced Hatch green chiles (or 1 can chopped green chiles)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces shrimp (size does not matter…will chop and use for filling)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil

Add crabmeat and milk to a bowl submerging all the crab meat.  Cover and refrigerate for thirty minutes.

Pulse celery, onion and garlic in a food processor or finely chop.  Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a 10 inch non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add chopped vegetables, salt and pepper .  Sautee 4-6 minutes or until soft and moisture is evaporated.  Put cooked vegetables in a large bowl and allow to cool to room temperature while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.  Add chopped green chiles to the cooling celery and onion.

Remove crabmeat and strain through a mesh strainer pressing to remove the milk but don’t break the crab meat.  Set aside.

Add shrimp to the small bowl of the Kitchen Aid food processor and pulse about 12-15 times.  Scraping sides if necessary.  Once finely ground, add cream and pulse until combined about 4 times.

Add shrimp puree to room temperature vegetables and add mustard, hot sauce, lemon and Old Bay.  Stir until combined.  Fold crab meat in gently with a rubber spatula.

Divide into 16 balls.  I used a tablespoon to measure.  Roll into ball and flatten into patty about ½ inch thick.  Make sure they are the same size.  Put on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Remove patties from refrigerator and coat with bread crumbs.  Heat a 10 inch non-stick skillet to medium with one tablespoon of oil and one tablespoon butter until shimmering.  Add patties and cook until browned about 4 minutes per side.  

Be careful not to crowd the pan and add more oil and butter as necessary.





I will be entering these in the Vanilla Clouds and Lemon Dreams, Sweet Heat challenge.

The Chiles are In!

Chile Lime Ice Cream

I am sharing this week with Teach Me Tuesday’s,The King’s Court IV, Thursday’s Favorite Things and Homestead Simple.  In September, I will be entering these in the Vanilla Clouds and Lemon Dreams, Sweet Heat challenge.

I love the smell of green chiles roasting over an open fire. The scent fills the air with a warm, spicy fragrance. It makes me feel like Fall is just around the corner. Being from the southwest we think everyone knows how to roast, steam and peel New Mexico long green chiles. (some places known as Anaheim chiles.) I had a good lesson in this exercise from Chef Johnny Vee of Las Cosas Cooking School in Santa Fe, NM. He has lots of experience in teaching, catering, and restaurant management.

If you have the chance to visit Santa Fe and take a class with Chef Johnny you should do it. I learned a few new tricks in his class and had a blast cooking with him and my friend Nelda. She and I have both raised families and cooked lots of meals. I thought I knew everything there was about chiles. Not so. Did you know, if your put a small slit near the stem of the raw chile before roasting it that it will prevent the chile from exploding while over the direct flame? Then you can use that same slit to fill the chile for chiles rellenos before you put it in the batter? I never thought of that. I always do things the hardest way first. This makes perfect sense. He introduced all types of recipes in which to use the chiles. I’ll be sharing those with you from time to time as chile season proceeds.

When picking out your chiles be sure they are as flat and heavy feeling as you can find. This will make it easier to char the skin more evenly. Heavy feeling chiles will be meatier or thicker for stuffing with your favorite cheese. I like Asadero or Mennonite cheese. Very good for melting in those chiles rellenos.

Roasting Chiles:

Wash and dry the chiles and leave the stems on, use a knife and slit about a 1” verticle slit near the stem, and place them on a grill or over the open flame on your gas stove. You can put them under the broiler too. I prefer the gas grill outside when the weather permits. (In El Paso that is almost always!) Turn them until they are charred on all sides. Once they are blackened all over, put them in a bowl or pan and cover tightly with plastic wrap, a plastic bag or even foil. You wantthem to steam completely. They need to be cool enough to handle. With the back of a paring knife slip the charred skin away by sliding the knife down the chile. Remove as much of the blackened skin as possible. A little char adds to the smoky flavor of the chile. DO NOT RINSE THE CHILES when preparing them for sauces, enchiladas, pico de gallo or casseroles/stews, unless instructed in a recipe.

You can slit them open and remove the stems and seeds if they are to be diced or sliced. The seeds are the hottest part. For chiles rellenos leave the seeds in and stems on.

After all of that instruction here is a nice sweet surprise that Chef Johnny shared with us. This is a very creamy and quick ice cream to make. The chiles add a new twist to ice cream I had never thought of. I took the liberty to adjust the chile prep a little. I really wanted the flavor throughout the ice cream. In the class we served the chiles in strips on top in case some didn’t want chile with their lime. I added the zest of ½ of an orange too. Thinking margaritas here! The Chef told us he used the chile syrup from caramelized chiles to make margaritas. Sounds like a good idea. It must be 5 o’clock somewhere!

Lime Ice Cream with Caramelized Green Chiles

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Zest of 2 limes
  • Zest of ½ orange
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice, about 2 limes
  • ¼ cup key lime juice (bottled is fine or about 8 key limes)

Important note: Set up your ice cream maker before you add the lime juices.

Whisk together cream, milk, sugar and zest. Mix until sugar is completely dissolved.

Quickly stir in the lime juices (it gets very thick) and quickly pour into the ice cream maker. Freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. I used my Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker. This is such a handy little machine. No fuss or bother with ice, salt, etc. And It makes a perfect quantity ice cream – perfect for this recipe.

When the ice cream is finished freezing, add the chiles through the top opening and mix in the chiles and allow to blend for a minute. Pack the ice cream in plastic containers and store in the freezer section of your refrigerator until ready to serve.

Caramelized Green Chiles

  • 6 New Mexico green chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and rinsed
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Blot the chiles dry with paper towels and cut them in ¼” dice. Combine all ingredients in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture thickens and becomes syrupy. About 10-12 minutes.

Remove from the heat and strain the chiles through a sieve. Scatter the chiles on a lightly oiled plate and freeze. Add to the Lime Ice Cream before storing in the freezer.

Chef Chat with Chef Johnny V “It sounds crazy but these candied chiles end up tasting like candied pineapple, but with a kick. If you are not sure you will love them, serve them as strips on top of the ice cream.”

–His cookbook Cooking with Johnny Vee has this recipe and lots more.

I’m Addicted

I am addicted to the Food Network and now the Cooking Channel.  Their shows don’t inspire me to make all those recipes, but I have learned wonderful techniques that make preparing a meal quicker and more economical.  Most of all I am inspired to try a lot of food I would never have thought about.   Now that I am in the blogosphere I enjoy reading other cook’s experience and perspective as much as I do those shows.

I watch Paula, Ina and Giada make all those wonderful food items and just get angry that I can’t jump up and make them to eat RIGHT NOW! But I am diabetic and I just can’t let myself do that to myself.  I go out to eat and watch all the delicious foods come out, read the menu and pick a chicken breast. It used to make me depressed until I realized the real winner is me when I don’t give in to my temptations.  I feel satisfied with the meal and with myself for making the right choices for me.

I love to cook and especially bake.  Thank goodness I have several outlets to share my creativity.   The people I work with have been fed well for years.  My Dr.’s office staff have to endure cookies and candy at Christmas.  He knows I don’t eat it – the proof is in the test results.  And, of course, my church.  The first Sunday of each month we take baked goods to a homeless shelter.  This little project gives me the chance to write about food as well and then I don’t need to cook.  And some days I do NEED to cook.  It is a great release and gives me a sense of accomplishment like nothing else.  Well maybe the garden does that too, but right now the garden is dormant.

My friends at work are always dropping by my desk with a recipe to share.  Some are too complicated or not to my taste and I don’t try them.  Regardless, I appreciate hearing about their adventures in the kitchen.  Courtney mentioned one she can make and have on the table in about 45 minutes.  I’m not sure the nutritional value, but it sounds warm, comforting and economical.

2X4 Soup

  • 2 pounds lean ground meat (you could use ground chicken)
  • 2 18.5 ounce cans Progresso Minestrone Soup
  • 2 15 ounce cans Ranch Style Beans (drained)
  • 2 cans Rotel Tomatoes and Green Chiles


Brown the meat, add the soup, beans and tomatoes.  Heat and serve.

Now a more low carb meal would be the one Nelda gave me on Friday.

Scoopable Chinese Chicken Salad

  • 1 16 ounce package dry broccoli cole slaw
  • 1 8 ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 1 cup canned mandarin orange segments packing in juice (light) drained and chopped
  • 1 cup sliced scallions
  • 12 ounces cooked and chopped skinless lean chicken breast
  • ¾ cup low-fat sesame ginger dressing (recommended Newman’s Own Lighten Up)

Mix all ingredients and toss with the salad dressing to coat.    5 servings with about 195 calories per serving.

Thanks Ladies!  Keep em coming.  I love the inspiration.



Chicken Tortilla Soup-Spicy Soup for Fall

I am dusting this one off for the Recipe Roundup:  GBPRecipeRoundUp

I’m hungry for a tasty, but simple soup.  This is one that can please everybody’s palate.  Make it spicy, spicier, or spiciest depending on what kind of chilé you use and how much.  I have used chopped fresh green chilés if I don’t have fresh jalapeños.

Here in El Paso we have the luxury to live near Hatch, NM where those world famous fresh roasted green chiles are grown.  That is the talk in early fall in El Paso.  “Did you get your chilés yet?”  I buy a 20 pound sack and divide mine into small plastic freezer bags so I have them available all year long.  I do believe they get spicier as the year
goes by.  By summer they are too hot for me to enjoy.  But, by then it is almost time for some more.

Served alone, this is a good Saturday afternoon soup.  With a salad or even a sandwich for the hearty eaters, it is a great dinner.

Now, I don’t want you to think I only make Mexican or spicy foods.  I am about to launch into baking mode to get ready for the eating frenzy called “the holidays.”  So get ready for some good, but simple, family favorites that bring the holidays “home” to me.