Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Time....and the Cookin' Needs to Be EASY!!

Cooking in the summer can be a challenge, especially when it is so HOT outside. It is hard to think of something that tastes good but doesn't take a lot of time. Try Arroz Con Chile Verde for your next get together. The ingredient in this recipe that makes it so different is the New Mexico Green Chile. Most Tex-Mex restaurants in Texas don’t cook with it. But if you want a whole different flavor, this recipe is for you! 

First things first, in case you are not familiar with the green chile/chili, let me introduce you!   It is only grown in Hatch, New Mexico. Hatch enjoys the distinction of being the home of "The World's Best Chile Pepper", according to a report by the “BBC World News”. Hatch Chile is best prepared by roasting over an open flame. Each year during chile season, dozens of green chile vendors can be found lining the streets of Hatch roasting the local chile. Of course if you can’t go to The Hatch Chile Festival in September, you can always have it shipped to your home.  Another alternative here in Texas, is Central Market.  You can buy Bueno Frozen Green Chile that is already peeled and chopped. (Found in the Frozen Specialty Food Section).
There are four kinds of Green Chile that the farmers grow:
·       Mild (New Mexico #20)
·       Medium (They call it  Big Jim)
·       Hot (Sandia)
·       Extra Hot (Barker)
If you’re not a spicy food fan, have never tried Green Chile, but you are interested, Mild Chile would be a good place to start.  Medium or Big Jim varies in heat from chile to chile but has a great flavor. It is one of the most popular chilies. Hot Chile is for those who really like spicy food, and makes a great enchilada sauce. Extra-Hot packs a punch in the heat department. It makes great salsa, but you’d best be ready with a cold drink in hand. 
If you are interested in ordering Hatch Chile there are 2 links listed below.

Green Chilies can be added to just about any dish. If you ever travel to New Mexico you will find green chilies on just about anything.  The recipe below is a side dish made with rice. It goes great with Chicken, Sausage, Ribs or any other meat you love to fix.  Now with a little history on the green chile under your belt, here is the recipe. Enjoy!!!

Arroz Con Chile Verde
Temperature High, 350F degrees, Baking Time 30 Minutes
·       2 Cups Water
·       2 Cups Instant Rice
·       1 & 1/2 Cup Sour Cream*
·       1 Cup Chopped Chile*(If you use Bueno frozen green chile, be sure to thaw and drain before you add the rice)
·       1 Cup Monterrey Jack Cheese, cubed
·       1 Teaspoon Salt
·       ¼ Teaspoon Garlic Powder

Cook rice according to directions on the box.  Add all remaining ingredients to rice and place in a 2 quart casserole dish.  Cover with foil, bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.

*Varied amounts may be used.

Recipe from the Cocinas De New Mexico Cook Book

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