I’m from Texas, born, raised and still living here today. Admittedly, we Texans get a little proud of our state, especially when it comes to the food. We have the best barbeque, chicken-fried steak and pecan pie around, plus anything Tex-Mex or made with Hatch green chiles will make you kick up your boot heels and shout “yee-haw”! Yeah, yeah, Hatch green chiles may hail from Hatch, New Mexico, but we’ve adopted them with cult-like worship into our food culture.
I am not immune from the fanaticism of this long, slender green pepper. I once hoarded 75 pounds of fire roasted peppers in my freezer and have outright won or placed in several Hatch Green Chile Cook-Offs! Today, I’m sharing my recipe for Hatch Green Chile & Queso Frecso Breakfast Bake, it’s an easy recipe that is also gladly gobbled up for lunch, dinner or a bedtime snack. Leftover slices can be frozen and later reheated for crazy days when you need to be fueled with a tasty meal in minutes.
While the overwhelming majority of Hatch green chiles sold in the markets during the eagerly anticipated August to September season are mild, some varieties can be knock-your-socks off hot. For reference, the “1904” variety is mild, the “Big Jim” is medium and the “Sandia” is hot. The “Lumbre” are extra hot, so proceed with caution! Any pepper that has begun to ripen into red, will have an even noticeably hotter afterburn. In the event you want to make this Hatch recipe and don’t have access to the peppers in your area (or the season is over), fresh Poblano make a mild-mannered substitution.
Unless you have a grocery store willing to roast the chiles for you (and many will), you’ll need to take on this simple task that deepens their distinctive taste. To do this, just toss peppers on a baking sheet and into a 400 F oven or straight on the grill and let roast, turning once or twice with tongs, for about 20 minutes. Peppers will be ready to remove from heat when softening and presenting with blistered and black skin in places. Transfer to a plastic zip-top bag and let steam in the bag for 20 more minutes, this will help the skin easily slip off. When cool to the touch, pull off the skin, remove the stem and slice open to rinse out the seeds. From here, the Hatch green chiles are recipe ready or can be stored in the freezer for enjoyment later!
To help the eggs set up while baking, I mix in crushed tortilla chips and pre-cooked brown rice - better yet, leftover Spanish rice! Crumbled up queso fresco (a salty, springy and budget-friendly Mexican cheese), cilantro, and the roasted green chiles create a mild but muy buneo flavor profile. Top with a dollop of salsa and drizzle with OPA by Litehouse Jalapeno Ranch Greek Yogurt Dressing, pourable right out of the bottle!
Not only is this an economical meal, with each nice-sized slice costing about $1.50, it’s also filling and a great nutritional deal with 18 grams of protein and 320 calories.