Grilled Hatch Chile Stacked Enchiladas
This month’s staff member recipe is a unique presentation of the traditional enchilada that involves two of my favorites–grilling and Hatch peppers. Submitted by Melissa’s Retail Sales veteran and one of the company’s most dedicated foodies, Steve Fruchter, who enjoys tinkering in his own kitchen with the same fresh and processed-from-fresh products that he promotes for Melissa’s to the retail clients he works with daily. Steve has participated in this blog several times with his seasonal culinary creations. He also enjoys putting his own twist on dishes he tries at restaurants…
“I love to be inspired by professional chefs. This recipe is my version of a deconstructed enchilada dish that I discovered at a local restaurant,” Steve explained. “It was billed as a “Stacked Enchilada,” and I found it much easier to make than the traditional rolled method. That is, the ingredients are layered on tortillas, kind of like lasagna. I adapted the idea with my own set of ingredients, using several of our Hatch Pepper products as the foundation for the dish. Enjoy and I hope this inspires readers to create their own recipes!”
Steve’s recipe instructions actually require and provide two completely different dinners! I can only back the following supposition from many decades of eating: Leftover BBQ chicken is much more flavorful the day after; day-old grilled corn on the cob also develops a deeper smoky taste. So, preparation of Steve’s dish starts with a tasty dinner the night before of grilled chicken basted in Hatch BBQ sauce and grilled fresh corn-on-the-cob slathered in butter. Note: a bit of discipline is also required during this stage of the enchilada prep—that is, be sure to leave some leftovers! BTW, Steve suggests starting BOTH preparations with a key ingredient—a fresh fruit margarita!
“Every good home cook and professional chef knows the importance of keeping hydrated during every phase of the preparation and cooking process! And I am talking real fresh limes or another fresh fruit favorite along with the two traditional fortified ingredients…never ever use that syrupy bottled mix stuff!”
Once the leftovers and flavors of last night’s dinner have been marinating in the ‘fridge overnight, the fun begins. Steve’s recipe below assumes that those leftovers were enjoyed the first time around and are on hand for a repurposed encore. Same with the margarita(s)! Then it’s back to the grill to roast the Hatch peppers, one of my favorite tasks! Also, readers will note that the ingredient list has no measures; this is not that kind of recipe. The amounts of chicken, corn, Hatch BBQ sauce, and tortillas, for instance, and all the rest of the support ingredients really depend on how many of these tasty two-layer “stacks” are needed, each stack being one serving. From experience, if four are being served, definitely be prepared to satisfy all the inevitable requests for seconds. These stacks can also be frozen and heated up with a quick zap in the microwave or oven.
It turns out that I had over-bought ingredients, so I prepared this dish twice within a week to use up the supplies, which a group of hungry friends did not complain about at all! So, I agree with Steve’s comment regarding ease of prep. Just have all the components sliced, diced and lined up in order per the instructions for a quick and easy culinary assembly line! This is one of those dishes that looks like it took a lot of work when in reality, there is really nothing to it beyond being organized! Though this wordsmith is seldom at a loss to describe any flavor, the multitude of tastes in every forkful of Steve’s stack defies specificity. One bite will warm to the bones with pleasant comfort-food goodness, while another might strike the palate as “just great Mexican food.” The complexity of the fresh Hatch pepper laces through the entire dish, adding an extra richness that only comes with this unique pepper. Try this!
Steve Fruchter has been a member of the Melissa’s family for some 27 years. He works with several wholesale, retail, and club store accounts across the country.
“I provide our customers with updates on new Melissa’s products and seasonal produce available, offer promotional opportunities and facilitate their orders,” said Steve. “This is a business of good relationships and mutual partnership. The buyers and merchandisers, some of whom have become friends over the years, know they can come to me for advice regarding Melissa’s products or programs, and I will give them the straight scoop.”
Away from the office, Steve admits to being a bit of a foodie who really enjoys creating his own take on recipes found online or served in local restaurants using healthier ingredients. His girlfriend, Marife, has become his partner in discovering new eateries and his primary taste-tester.
“What can I say? It’s an occupational hazard. I spend my professional day talking to our customers about all the healthy, fresh choices we offer seasonally, so it’s become second nature to come home and experiment with those same fresh ingredients at my own table! Marife and I are very much looking forward to summer season BBQs and then working off some of those hard-earned calories swimming laps or rockin’ & rollin’ at the many summer concerts in this area’s local parks.”
Grilled Hatch Pepper Stacked Enchiladas
Prepare a day ahead:
Hatch Chile Peppers, grilled
Veggie Sweet Mini Peppers, sliced
Grilled corn (leftover), removed from cob
BBQ chicken (leftover), shredded
Green Onions, diced
Hatch Red Chile Sauce
Hatch Chile Salsa
Real Fruit Margaritas
Roast the Hatch Peppers until skins are thoroughly scorched, remove from grill and place hot in a paper bag for 5-10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, the peppers will peel easily by hand; then remove stems, slit open, scrape out seeds and lay flat (whole).
Prepare supporting ingredients: slice Veggie Sweets, carve corn from the leftover cobs, shred leftover chicken and dice green onions.
Layer all ingredients: (#1) Starting with corn tortillas on the bottom, then Hatch Chile Red Sauce, the chicken and corn. (#2) Cover with a whole Hatch pepper and shredded cheese (#3) Top with another corn tortilla, roasted Hatch pepper, a layer of Hatch Chile Red Salsa and finish with more cheese.
Bake at 325F for 40 minutes. Top with green onions, cilantro and avocado on the side. Other sides: refried beans and chips with Melissa’s Hatch Salsa.