Monday, September 07, 2009

Green Chile Sauce

Regular readers of this blog (thanks, folks!) heard me talk last week about my experience roasting and peeling Hatch chiles. Well, now, it's time that you start to see (and try for yourself) the fruits of my labors. Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be posting recipes for sauces, enchiladas, chile rellenos and more. Enjoy!

First step was green chile sauce...the "gravy" of New Mexico. Inspired by a dinner at Cafe Pasqual's in Santa Fe (and the subsequent purchase of a couple of chef Katharine Kagel's cookbooks), here's the recipe I arrived at. It was delicious in our stacked enchiladas, but would also be great spooned over grilled chicken or fish, scrambled eggs, you name it.

Green Chile Sauce
Makes about 4 cups. (Double the recipe and freeze the'll thank me later.)

About three pounds fresh green New Mexico chiles (I'm a wimp and used all mild...still plenty of kick!), roasted, peeled, seeded, deveined and chopped to measure 3 cups
4 cups water (A portion can be chicken or vegetable stock.)
1/2 white onion, cut into medium dice (It will "melt" down to smaller pieces.)
1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano (Find the Mexican (and not Greek) oregano if you can.)
3 tablespoons garlic pepper (Garlic pepper is one of my secret ingredients, but use 2 tablespoons minced garlic if you'd rather.)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons sugar, optional

Place all of the ingredients, except the oil and flour, in a large saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until thickened, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a saucepan, stir the oil and flour together with a whisk until well-blended. Place saucepan over medium heat and cook until hot an bubbling. Reduce heat to low and whisk until roux is golden brown and has a nutty smell. Remove from the heat.

Add 1/2 cup of the chile mixture to the roux and whisk thoroughly until smooth. (Be might splatter.) Add back into the chile mixture and cook over low heat until the sauce thickens. Season with salt to taste.

Here's where my palate chickened out and I added 3 tablespoons sugar to mellow the heat of the chiles. You might want to do the same.

You can refrigerate for 5-7 days. You can also freeze in 1 or 2 cup portions for up to four months.

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