There are two constants in New Mexico cuisine. The first is unspoken: you get a sopapilla with every meal. The second is a question: green or red? Unlike California, with its various salsas and hot sauces, New Mexico uses green sauce and red sauce, both from the Hatch Chile. I mean it: There is no bottles of hot sauce on the table and they don”t serve a ramekin of salsa. So here are instructions for preparing the peppers and then making the basic green sauce. I also added 25 suggested recipes that use the green sauce.
Step 1: Start with some Hatch Chile peppers. I got a little carried away and bought a 25 pound case (they were a bargain at 69 cents per pound). There are about 10 peppers per pound so about 250 peppers. The Hatch chile is related to the California Anaheim chile but it has more of a bite.The green sauce is often hotter than the red (riper) sauce. This whole case were the hotter peppers.
Step 2: Roast the peppers. In New Mexico, they use special roaster drums. At home, you can roast in the oven, on the grill, or using a flame. The oven is off-limits due to a previous experience (something about the fumes of baking garlic traveling through the house-ducts into the craft studio and perfuming fabric). So I roasted on the gas grill. It takes about 10 minutes to roast a pepper on all sides to 70 percent charred. The trick is monitoring 30 peppers on the grill at the same time.
Step 3: Steam the peppers. This is simply stacking the roasted peppers off the grill into a pot. After 20 minutes the roasted skin loosens.
Step 4: Peel and de-seed the peppers. My recommendation after it was too late; wear latex gloves. After seeding 250 peppers, my hands were burning from the capsacian. I used a folk remedy of applying a dairy product (in this case: yogurt) to counteract the burn. The de-seeding is easy. The peeling is the big task. The skin takes several minutes per pepper to remove. You use a knife for peeling; and water and towels for rubbing.
2 tablespoons light flavored olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 packed cups green chile, roasted, peeled, seeds removed and finely diced, (this was approximately 1 1/2 lbs roasted green chiles)
1 cup roasted tomatillo puree (optional) (about 3/4 lbs)
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 – 1 teaspoon kosher salt, adjust to taste
2 cups water
Roasted Tomatillo Puree (optional): Set the oven to Broil. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Peel, wash and dry the tomatillos. Place on baking sheet. Broil until tops are blackened (about 5 minutes); Turn them over and repeat for another 5 minutes. Puree coarsely.
In a large saucepan, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft. While this is cooking, stir together the flour and the spices. Sprinkle this mixture over the onions and stir to coat.
Add 1 cup of water to the mixture in the pan and stir to make sure the flour has dissolved. Add green chile and the rest of the water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a low simmer for 15 minutes. Use within 3-4 days or freeze until needed. Enjoy!
Recipes using the green sauce:
- Slow Cooker Hatch Green Chile Verde
- Queso Dip With Roasted Hatch Chiles
- White Chicken Enchiladas With Green Chile Sour Cream Sauce
- Grilled Hatch Chile Pimento Cheese Sandwiches
- Hot Cheesy Corn Dip
- Chorizo Green Chile Breakfast Skillet
- Spicy Green Chile Mac And Cheese
- Hatch Chile Salsa Verde
- Green Chile Chicken Burgers
- Avocado Cream And Chicken Suiza Enchiladas
- Roasted Green Chiles In A Light Vinaigrette
- Green Chili Mole Hot Dogs
- Green Chile Cornbread
- Southwestern Steak And Cheddar Panini
- Mexican Green Chile Steak Soup
- Green Chile Potato Gratin
- Homemade Salsa
- Hatch Chile Enchiladas With Chicken And Zucchini
- Green Chile Stew
- Chicken Tortilla Soup With Hatch Chiles
- Hatch Green Chile Enchilada Sauce
- Hatch Chile Tortillas
- Hatch Chile Croque Monsieur
- Green Chile Sauce