Hatch! Hatch! 

It’s Hatch Chili season! During this time of year I feel crazy as I wait patiently for signs that hatch chilies are destined to show up in the grocery store. New foods that have been dusted, baked, and doused in hatches slowly appear on shelves. For a mere 3-4 weeks, Texans are graced with the presence of these beautiful, meaty, and enticingly flavorful peppers.

2lbs of deliciousness

 
   
If that wasn’t enough to excite one such as myself, several of our local grocers bring out giant roasters to enhance the flavor of these mild peppers even further. All that is left up to me is to thoughtfully plan the tasty consumption of the 4 pounds I’ve purchased! Poor Amber is not going to know what hit her when a little green chili pops up in her every meal. I’ve decided to ease her in slowly with a simple Chicken Hatch Guacamole Burrito.

Be sure to stay tuned as more hatch craziness is bound to occur!

Chicken Hatch Guacamole Burritos
Serves 4 

  

For the chicken 

  • 2 chicken breast, bones in (you can use boneless/skinless but keeping the bone gives an additional flavor)
  • 8 whole hatch chilies, roughly chopped
  • 4 cups stock, chicken or vegetable will work
  • Handful cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 small onion, roughly chopped 
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Salt & pepper, about a teaspoon each

For the filling 

  • 1 large avocado
  • 1 large lime
  • 4 toasted hatch chilies, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 small onion
  • Pinch of Cayenne
  • Salt& pepper, about a teaspoon each
  • 1 cup of grated pepper jack cheese 
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

Prep- Preheat oven to 350 °. Lightly season your chicken breast with salt and pepper. Roughly chop all of your vegetables. 

Blend- In a blender on high, blend the 8 hatch chilies with the stock, 1/2 an onion, cilantro and garlic until smooth. Add the salt and pepper to season. Pour into a stockpot and add the chicken. 

Cook- Gently bring the chicken to a boil. Once you have a soft boil, reduce the heat to medium. You want to poach the chicken for 20-25 minutes. Once the chicken is done remove from the stockpot to a cutting board, allow the meat to rest at least 7 minutes before cutting. If you cut the meat any sooner it will become tough. Once rested remove the bone and cut chicken into cubes. Place about 1/8 of a cup of cheese on each tortilla. Bake in your preheat oven until the cheese is melted.  

Mix- In a mixing bowl, smash the avocado. Add lime juice, the hatch chilies, the remaining onion and garlic. Mix everything together until you have a chunky guacamole. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Eat- Fill your tortillas with the chicken, topping with hatch guacamole and sour cream. Enjoy!

  

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Spicy Meatballs

spicy cilantro meatballs

I have a problem with meatballs. I mean a is there rehab for meatballs problem.  My wife does not share the same affection for the meaty goodness. I find the one Italian on our beautiful planet who does not enjoy meatballs. But she loves this recipe, which makes my heart flutter.

This is possibly my favorite recipe for meatballs, they are soft yet have this crunchy brown outside. Cayenne makes them spicy in the best possible ways. The kick is in both the sauce and meat, creating an excellent coupling of savory flavors. You can adjust the spice level in this recipe if you enjoy your taste buds intact.

I failed to mention the most important aspects of these meatballs… They are healthy. Healthy does not need to be a flavorless mockery of food. You can bring all the wonderful zings about flavor to healthy meals. Food for me is glorious…but glorious doesn’t always fit into pants. My wife and I are embarking on this wonderful adventure of living a healthier life style. So, what better way to start than with our food.

Spicy Cilantro Meatballs
Serves 4

For Meatballs

  • 1 pound ground turkey (I use a 93/7)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 7 Saltines (I use unsalted tops saltines)
  • 1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic (I am secretly a vampire hunter)
  • 4 heavy handed teaspoons cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon oregano, rosemary and basil mixture
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For Sauce 

  • 1- 14 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1- 8 ounce can low sodium tomato sauce
  • Oil to coat the pan
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 pinches cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • Pinch salt and pepper
  • Pinch sugar

Prep- Preheat oven to 350°. Chop the cilantro, garlic and crackers. Set aside a few pinches of the cilantro for the sauce. Dice the onion and save for sauce as well. 

Mix- In a large bowl toss the ground turkey, eggs, garlic, cilantro, saltines and spices. Mix all the ingredients  with your hands until everything comes together. Do not over mix because the meatballs will toughen, you want to see the bits of garlic and even saltines. Use an 1/8th cup to measure out the meat mixture. Gently form your meatballs, this mixture will make about 12 meatballs. 

Spicy meatball mixBake- Place your meatballs into a baking dish. I do not oil the dish, the meat creates natural fat that releases during the baking process. You are more than welcome to lightly coat your dish if you are afraid of them sticking.

Bake at 350° for 20-25 mintues. You want them to have a crust like shell but still have a slight spring to the touch.

Cook- While the deliciousness ensues in your oven, it’s a perfect time to create the sauce. Coat a pan with oil, over medium heat add the diced onions. Once the onions are soft and translucent, add your fire roasted tomatoes. Smash the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon, then add the tomato sauce. Allow sauce to come to a light boil then lower your heat. Add your seasonings and cilantro. Cook on low for about 10 minutes.

Eat: Once your meatballs are done toss in the sauce and serve over a bed of rice or pasta. I prefer orzo!