Ask anyone who has every lived in the warm and sunny state of New Mexico what they love the most… and I’ll bet they’ll say the same thing….. Hatch Green Chile Sauce!
I know, how can something so silly as a pepper plant drive the madness that happens every fall as literally thousands of folks scramble to get their chile fix for the year?
Probably because these are not ordinary pepper plants, these are Sandias, Big Jims, and Joe E Parkers.
These are Hatch Green Chiles!
And there’s nothing like them anywhere else in the world.
And just so we’re clear….those long green peppers you see in the store? Those are probably Anaheims….not the same. They’re the same family of pepper, but a different variety that’s Californian grown. Nothing against California Chiles, or even Colorado Chiles, but they’re not Hatch.
Hatch, New Mexico is a little town of about 1600 people in southern New Mexico and there’s just something magical about their soil, or all that sun, or something that gives their chiles such a unique flavor.
Comparing Hatch Green Chile to any other pepper, especially those little cans of ‘green chiles’ you see in the grocery store is like comparing a ‘greenhouse’ tomato to a freshly picked, right off the vine, fresh from your garden, juice running down your chin – tomato.
There’s just NO comparison.
I used to drive down to the little village of Corralles, New Mexico – and the smell of roasting chiles would be everywhere. You see Chiles are roasted to burn their tough outer skin, then steamed to loosen what’s left so they can be peeled. The soft, fleshy pepper underneath is what we eat, and their fire roasted flavor is simply AMAZING!
Now they CAN be hot, and they can also be pretty mild, it just depends on the season. So if you’re not used to spicy foods – go easy on them at first – but I guarantee they will soon become addicting.
What you have to understand is that in New Mexico, Hatch Green Chile Sauce (green or red) is like ketchup. It goes on just about everything, and I don’t just mean burritos or enchiladas. I’m talking hamburgers, pizza, potatoes, you name it.
And we just can’t get enough.
Preparing Fresh Green Chiles
Since I no longer live in New Mexico, I have to buy my Green Chiles wherever I can find them, and I have found several places that sell them, even all the way up here in Oregon.
- Whole Foods sells freshly roasted Hatch Green Chiles every fall. Ask ahead of time and pre-order as they’re usually gone quickly.
- I have found the SELECT NEW MEXICO brand of frozen Green Chile at Walmart and Target.
- BUENO FOODS also sells frozen Green Chile, check your grocery’s freezer section.
- There are always websites you can order Green Chile from year round – but they can be expensive.
Ask around and see if your local grocery will carry them. And if they do, ask if they will roast them for you. If not they are actually pretty easy to roast yourself.
Just remember when handling Green Chiles – wear gloves – or keep your hands away from your eyes or any other sensitive body parts as the oil in these pods is quite hot. You may not realize you have any on your hands – but rub your eye just once…… Trust me – it burns badly so please be very careful.
- Wash and dry each chile.
- Take a fork and poke a few holes in each chile to let the steam out.
- Line a cookie sheet with foil.
- Broil the chiles on the top rack about 4-6″ away from the broiler
- Turn often to insure the skin blisters evenly.
- Alternatively, use your BBQ grill. I’ve heard this is a lot easier and ensures a more even roast.
- Turn often with tongs – you just want the outer skin to blister and slightly brown.
- Once they’re done – drop them is a plastic bag or a covered pot.
- The idea is to lead them steam for 20 minutes or so – this makes the skin peel off easier.
- Pack in small freezer bags and freeze for later!
If you have frozen Green Chiles:
- Defrost the chiles until they are limp and pliable
- Wearing gloves carefully remove the outer skin if necessary – it should just peel off
- Remove the stem, membrane, and seeds – these are what makes the chile hot!
- Chop and drain in a colander
- Use immediately
Hatch Green Chile Sauce
Making Hatch Green Chile Sauce is very easy. If you’re using a package of frozen Green Chile, allow it to thaw first, and drain them in a colander.
Add about ½ of a finely diced onion to a large skillet and saute with a few tablespoons of water or veggie broth. When softened, add 3-4 cloves of minced garlic and stir for about 1 minute.
Add 2-3 cups of chopped Hatch Green Chile and stir to mix.
Season with ¼ tsp of Ground Cumin, ½ tsp Mexican Oregano, ½ tsp Salt, and ½ tsp Black Pepper.
When bubbly, add 2 cups of Low Sodium Vegetable Broth and simmer on low heat until desired consistency is reached.
To make a thicker sauce, sprinkle 1 to 2 tsps of Masa Harina Corn Flour on top of the sauce while it’s simmering, and mix well to incorporate.
Hatch Green Chile Sauce obviously accompanies any Mexican meal from Tacos to Enchiladas, but it also makes an wonderful sauce for rice, beans, or even potatoes.
I hope you enjoy one of my favorite sauces, and please leave those comments ! I love to see what you come up with!
Hatch Green Chile Sauce
An authentic Hatch Green Chile Sauce recipe, perfect for Tacos, Burritos, Enchiladas, or even drizzled on baked potatoes! Full of Vitamin C!
- 1/2 Onion (diced fine)
- 3-4 cloves Garlic (minced)
- 2-3 cups Hatch Green Chile (chopped)
- 1/4 tsp Cumin
- 1/2 tsp Mexican Oregano
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Pepper
- 2 cups Vegetable Broth (low sodium)
- 2 tsp Masa Harina (optional)
Saute onion in a few tablespoons of water or broth until softened
Stir in minced garlic and simmer for 1 minute
Add chiles and spices and simmer until bubbly
Add broth and simmer until reduced to desired consistency
Stir in 1-2 tsp of optional Masa Flour to thicken if needed.
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