Hatch chile goodness

Courtesy Photo

By Taylor Sutton, MS, RD

United Supermarkets’ Lifestyle Desk

Hatch Chile Season is here and nutritionally we couldn’t be more excited. There are many different types of hatch chiles and they have small differences overall with look and flavors.

Most of the time, the hatch pepper is about a third of the heat index of a jalapeno. Just enough of a kick, right? This vegetable adds a depth of flavor without adding a ton of heat and can really help round out a dish. They have a very earthy flavor and depending on where they are grown, the pepper will also absorb a few flavors depending on the soil that it’s grown in.

So, if we’re not fresh roasting them and you find a can on our shelves, turn the package around and see where it was made.

Fun fact, did you know that you can eat hatch chiles raw or cooked? This is great information if you are stuffing them, using them in a baking recipe, in a casserole and anything in between. A popular way to enjoy them is roasted during peak season which is August and September.

Nutrition wise, one hatch chile, roasted (45g) is about 20 calories, 4g of carbohydrates, 1g of protein, and 20% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C.

Something fun to note is that legislators passed a law in 2012 that prohibits the sale of chili peppers with the label “New Mexican” unless actually grown in New Mexico, or they must include a disclaimer label of “Not Grown in New Mexico”.

If you’re not ready to try cooking with the hatch chiles by yourself just yet we celebrate it at our stores with a plethora of seasonal products from the aisles to bakery to the cheese case. It’s one of our favorite times of the year because it’s primarily focused on big flavor. If you are ready to throw a recipe together, this one is for you!

Ground Pork and Hatch Chili Casserole

What You Need

  • 1/2 box Chickpea Elbow Pasta
  • 1 lb Ground Pork (or lean ground beef, ground turkey, or ground chicken)
  • 1 c. Hatch Salsa
  • 1 small Onion
  • 3 stalks Celery
  • 1/2 c. fresh hatch chiles, finely diced (or 1, 4oz can Hatch Green Chiles if fresh is not available)
  • 1 can No Salt Added Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 can No Salt Added Pinto Beans
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Chili Powder
  • 2 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 tbsp. Cumin
  • 2 c. Cheddar Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper as desired
  • Optional Garnish: greek yogurt, chives, cilantro

How It’s Made

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Bring a medium size pot of water to boil and cook noodles 2 minutes less than the package directions.

3. Drain off excess water.

4. In a large cast-iron (or oven safe pan), brown the ground pork.

5. Chop onion and celery.

6. Add to the ground pork and cook for 5 additional minutes.

7. Drain the hatch green chiles and add to pan.

8. Drain the diced tomatoes and add to pan.

9. Drain and rinse the pinto beans and add to pan.

10. Add the noodles, salsa, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin and combine.

11. Bake for 15 minutes.

12. Pull the casserole out of the oven and add the cheese and bake for an additional 5 minutes.

13. Let it set up for 30 minutes.

14. Garnish with chives and cilantro as desired.

15. Option to serve with Hatch Chile cornbread.