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Eat Chiles and Get Healthier

Developing a chile habit is one of the kindest things you can do for yourself! What happens when one eats chiles is that the capsaicin within the chile fires one's endorphins at a direct proportion to the heat or Scoville units within the chiles. Endorphins are what produce a sense of well-being or runner's high--rather a euphoric feeling. Chiles are the primary food that one can eat to produce this rush! Chocolate excites the endorphins, but not to nearly as great an extent. The other methods one can get an endorphin rush are basically through physical activity such as sports, running, exercise, yoga and sex. The benefit you receive from eating chiles coupled with a balanced diet and a moderate amount of exercise is that weight loss or at the least maintenance is assured.

You will not be as hungry when you eat spicy and will also eat less. I find all this truly fascinating. Chiles also act to reduce stress, reduce facial wrinkles, increase heart health, assist with digestion and circulation and have been known to cure endless amounts of physical ailments. I highly suggest that you begin the chile-a-day habit. To select chiles for cooking, if you are searching for milder chiles, always select ones that have broad shoulders and blunt tips-conversely, select chiles with pointed tips and narrow shoulders for hotter dishes. This is important because you can have up to 35 different piquancies on one plant at a time.

If you are sensitive to the "bite" of chiles-the stinging sensation that comes from touching them-always try to not touch the inside of the chiles when you are working with them-handling by the stem and touching the outside skin. If that seems impossible, wear rubber gloves or generously grease your fingers with any kind of shortening-even the spray on helps. Now with the height of summer, it is the perfect time to enjoy green chiles. One of our most requested favorites is our Green Chile Chichen Enchilada recipe. These are wonderful made flat and made with freshly roasted green chiles.

widely available now. NEW MEXICO GREEN CHILE SAUCE ??????? This basic, yet versatile sauce without the chicken can be used to create enchiladas, or pour over chimichangas or burritos. Seafood, beef or beans can be substituted for the chicken.

Yield: 2 cups 1 Tablespoon butter or lard 2/3 cup chopped onion 2 Tablespoons flour 1-1/2 cups chicken broth 1 cup (or more) chopped green chiles 1 large clove garlic, finely minced 3/4 teaspoon salt Dash of ground comino (cumin) 1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the onion until soft.

Stir in the flour. 2. Add the broth. Then add chiles, garlic, salt and comino. 3. Simmer for 20 minutes; then use for making enchiladas.

GREEN CHILE CHICKEN OPEN FACED OR ROLLED ENCHILADAS ??????? In New Mexico, the favorite is flat enchiladas, as they have more sauce and less calories, due to not frying the tortillas, which is needed for rolled enchiladas. Yield: 4 to 6 servings 8 to 12 white, yellow or blue corn tortillas 1 recipe Green Chile Sauce (above) ¾ cup 50/50 mixture of grated Cheddar & Monterey Jack cheese, or to taste 1 medium-size onion, chopped ¼ cup sour cream Garni: Caribe, coarsely chopped Romaine and Red Leaf lettuce, tomato wedges 1. For Flat Enchiladas: Place a spoonful of green chile sauce on the plate, then top with the tortillas followed by cheese, onion and more sauce.

Repeat once or twice more. Top each enchilada with more sauce and cheese. Heat in a moderate 350 F oven until the cheese melts. Top each with a dollop of sour cream and a few grains of caribe. Encircle each enchilada with Romaine lettuce first, topped with a few pieces of Red Leaf and tomato wedges at 12 o'clock, 3, 6 and 9 equidistant around the plate. 2.

For Rolled Enchiladas In a skillet, lightly fry the tortillas in ½ inch of hot oil (or dip in chile water or just warm the tortillas). Variation: for Rolled Enchiladas: Dip the lightly fried tortilla into the sauce and place a strip of each grated cheese and chopped onion down the center. Roll and top with more sauce and cheese. To serve a crowd, place the rolled enchiladas in a large, shallow baking dish, but do not cover with sauce. Just before serving, heat in a moderate 350 F oven.

Warm the sauce separately and add just as you are ready to serve. Do not overcook or the enchiladas will be very mushy. Top with additional cheese and reheat until it melts.

Add lettuce and tomato wedges around edges before serving.

Jane Butel, best selling author of 18 cookbooks on Southwestern, Mexican and outdoor cooking operates a hands-on cooking school in Albuquerque and Scottsdale. Her school is rated "best in the US" by for hotel based cooking schools. For electronic photos or more information, contact us at 1-800-473-8226.


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