Just in case you haven’t been to a grocery store, picked up a magazine or food section of the newspaper, watched the news or listened to the radio…


Hatch Chiles hail from Hatch, New Mexico and their unique flavor, (and fantastic marketing efforts:)
have made them a treat that is enjoyed all over the U.S. Harvested in late August, just about now, they appear in speciality stores like Whole Foods, and on the menus of trendy restaurants. Heck, you can even find them in a tin in the local grocery store.

As a chile lover, I love em.

They range in heat from Mild…

To Hot…

And are a perfect choice for an easy potluck casserole like this one.

Here’s the goodness of Hatch chilies in the casserole on a (heaping) plate of POTLUCK!

Hatch chile heads say they are the best chiles ever, because they are grown at elevation. (Sound familiar you wine nerds? Grapes that are grown on the side of mountains are often the best, too!)
Hatch lovers even have a festival full of roasting peppers and crazy treats like chile candy, caramel sauce and of course, ice cream. Savory goodies abound too, providing inspiration for home cooks to whip up their own creations.

Because this casserole is topped with a white hat of cooling nonfat greek yogurt – its great for those who LOVE the HEAT – but also the wimps among us. ( Don’t get testy with me for calling you wimps, I live with one who I love dearly!)

Fast to prepare and a perfect side – it makes a 9 by 12 baking dish of lusciousness. If you’re not in to sharing that much – put it in two smaller casserole dishes and pop it in the freezer for dinner the next week or so.

Gotta point out, since I AM a Healthy Chef Partyologist, that this casserole is a perfect TASTY choice with lots of flavor, but includes lots better-for-you ingredients like beans, tomatoes and chiles. Hey! did you know that the capsaicin in chiles can raise your metabolism. Thats the active ingredient in the chiles that make it pungent and/or hot. WooHoo – I think that makes chilies health food, don’t you? Feel good about taking this dish to the holiday potluck, cookout or even just serving it to your family for dinner!

Hatch Chile Cheese Casserole
This serves 16 people

2 Cans (15 OZ) Hominy, Drained and Rinsed Well (you can find this in the grocery store next to canned beans)
1 Package Frozen Corn, Defrosted or 4 Ears of Corn off the cob
1 Can Black Beans, Drained and Rinsed Well
2 Cups Halved Grape Tomatoes
1/2 LB Chopped, Roasted Hatch Chilies – Buy them already roasted at Whole Foods, grill them over a hot flame or under the broiler, or buy 8 OZ tins in the grocery store
1 Cup Chopped Cilantro
1 TB Cumin
2 Tsp Smoked Paprika
1 1/2 Tsp Salt, divided
1/2 Tsp Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
1 Cup Shredded Pepper Jack Cheese (I like Cabots reduced fat Pepper Jack)
1 Cup Shredded Parmesan
4 Cups Nonfat Greek Yogurt
1 Cup Pumpkin Seeds

Step One
In a nonstick sprayed casserole dish, dump the drained hominy, corn, black beans, tomatoes, chiles and cilantro into the casserole dish. Add in the cumin, paprika, 1 Tsp of the salt and the pepper and stir. Sprinkle on the cheeses.

Step Two
Using a spatula, spread the yogurt over the entire top of the casserole. (Don’t worry if you pick up a little shredded cheese in the yogurt, it will be fine:) Sprinkle with the remaining tsp of salt and the pumpkin seeds. Cook in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until deliciously warm and toasty. This is great warm or room temperature!

MORE INFO about the Hatch Chile Festival
Thanks to Jennifer Gantner for some of the glamour shots in this blog!

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