Recipe: Green Chile Breakfast Casserole by Bueno Foods

Editor
By Editor September 6, 2016 10:24

Recipe: Green Chile Breakfast Casserole by Bueno Foods

By: Brian Garrido

It’s that time of year. Take a walk through any Arizona market or grocery and you’ll see that the produce section is likely overflowing with chile peppers; and more specifically, the Hatch chile. So, what makes this pepper so special amongst all the others?

In 1894, the chile was created by Mexican-born, horticulturalist Dr. Fabian Garcia, known as the Father of the Mexican food industry, for New Mexico State University. The purpose was to create a standard chile and heat level. Historically and importantly, it is the first pepper cultivated in the United States and it became the typical chile variety used in most commercial cooking throughout the Southwest.

When the pepper was developed in the late 19th century, the state of New Mexico was still located in the northern most region of Mexico. Arizona and New Mexico didn’t enter the United States until 1912, first “The Land of Enchantment” as the 47th, followed by Arizona a few months later as the last of the contiguous states.

Hatch is the valley in New Mexico where the peppers are grown, but that doesn’t specify the type. It is actually called a “long green” – but typically, it’sI known as the New Mexico or New Mexico long green (sometimes, referred to as the “Anaheim” – though incorrectly, as that cultivar was developed from the New Mexican variety.)

Ana Baca, Director of Marketing of Baca Foods and Buenos Food, says, “Hatch is not a cultivar; it is a place. Some of the best chile in the world is grown in the region due to the climate and the altitude that converge, but it is not a cultivar. For example, when you are eating a jalapeno or a serrano, these are cultivars.” And she should know, because Bueno Foods and Baca Foods are the largest certified company making products using the New Mexico chile. It was her grandfather and great uncles that were the first to roast the New Mexican chilies on a commercial level, creating the more than 60-year-old family-owned and operated company.

Based in Albuquerque, the Baca family changed the ability to have Mexican food anywhere in North America – if not the world. “This is in the late forties, early fifties – returning home after WWII, my grandfather and brothers opened a couple of grocery stores in our area. However, when my grandfather saw Birdseye frozen vegetables arrive on the market, that gave them the idea to build on it.” At the time, there was no process to roast chiles, so the Baca brothers – using American ingenuity and good, old-fashioned hard work – developed a process to freeze a select handful of products. Initially available only through their neighborhood market, Bueno Foods is now distributed throughout the 50 states.

“Our chiles come from three different farmers in Hatch,” says Ms. Baca. “Right now, the New Mexico Chile Association is trying to designate the area as an agricultural region. Many things are said to be from Hatch but are not. They are trying to create strict guidelines allowing the name to be used on products.”

Regardless, every Mexican food kitchen – both private and chef driven (including taco trucks that should be on every corner) – are indebted to both Dr. Garcia and the Baca brothers.

 

Green Chile Breakfast Casserole

Serves 6 – 8. (Adapted from Bueno Foods)

Ingredients:

¾ lb. breakfast sausage

1 onion finely diced

1 oz. Bueno Frozen Autumn Roast Chiles thawed, drained (found in frozen foods)

1 cup shredded cheddar or mild cheese

4 eggs well beaten

¼ cup milk

¼ cup flour

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Brown meat and onion. Drain fat.
  3. Layer ground meat and onion mixture, green chile and cheese alternatively in oil-sprayed 8″ square casserole dish.
  4. Mix together beaten eggs, milk, flour, salt and pepper.
  5. Pour egg mixture over layers.
  6. Bake at 350°F for 45 to 50 minutes or until inserted knife comes out clean.
  7. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

 

Editor
By Editor September 6, 2016 10:24

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