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Nov 27, 2004 01:45 PM

Calling Southwest cooks--New mexico style chile verde recipe?

  • p

I grew up in Colorado, and my subsequent urban life in Seattle and the Bay Area has been spent learning more about mexican food than I ever knew was possible. However, there is one thing I have never been able to reproduce, and that is genuine New Mexico-style green chile. I can make about six different kinds of Mexican and Mexican-american mole verdes, all of which are wonderful, but none of them have the same thing going on as your standard bowl of green that is widely available in NM and also Colorado (and which i search out every time I am anywhere near either state).

(A digression on a recent thread got me thinking about this.)

Anyone got a recipe? I'll be ever so grateful. Thanks--patrick

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  1. New Mexico style green chile is very simple to make. Everyone has their own recipe. I prefer to add only onion, no garlic (which I love but it changes the authentic taste of the chile). Avoid olive oil...again, it changes the taste of the chile.

    1 lb frozen New Mexico green chile peppers, thawed, seeded, peeled and chopped ( Note that most frozen green chile is sold peeled, seeded and chopped)
    1 small onion, chopped
    vegetable oil
    water or chicken broth

    Saute the onion in the oil in a medium-sized saucepan until it is soft. Stir in the chile. Add chicken broth or water to almost the desired consistency for the sauce (the chile waters-out a little as it cooks.) This is usually 2 - 3 cups of liquid. I prefer the sauce to have the consistency of a thin gravy, so I use a roux or cornstarch to add that bit of thickness. Otherwise the sauce is watery. I learned to use the roux to thicken when I worked at Eloy's Mexican Restaurant in Albuquerque in the late 70s. I make the roux in a separate saucepan, add some heated broth or liquid from the sauce and then add the roux to the sauce.

    Add salt to taste (traditionally green chile is well salted), simmer on a very low heat, stirring often (green chile can stick and burn.)

    People add chunks of chicken, beef or pork, or browned hamburger, or small chunks of potatoes or all of the above. The key to great green chile sauce is the flavor of the chile!

    Hope this helps.

    10 Replies
    1. re: desert rat

      thanks, this is so simple! I guess that what I have been missing is the genuine NM chile...the secret ingredient. do you know any mail order sources?

      1. re: patrick

        Patrick, I hope this helps you, if not try a search on google for 'hatch chiles' The town of Hatch is said to grow the finest green chiles in the world.


        1. re: drew

          Thanks! I found a bunch of online resources but this looks like the real deal...Hatch's reputation is well known. They're all pretty expensive, but I guess that is to be expected, and the Hatch folks sell seeds, so maybe next year I'll just devote the entire garden to "NM-6-4" chiles.

          1. re: patrick

            If you're going to "grow your own", I suggest the following varieties:

            1. NuMex Big Jim - large, thick and meaty pods with mild to moderate heat. Great for rellenos and chile wimps.

            2. Sandia - hot and delicious

            3. New Mexico Joe Parker - hot and tasty

            4. Espanola Improved - also hot

            Plants of the Southwest has an excellent selection of green chile seed, as does Seeds of Change

            1. re: desert rat

              Thanks for the great info. I like a milder chile for stews and moles; i can always perk it up with a few serranos or something like that. So the Big Jim sounds perfect.

              I had great success this year (on a very small scale) with some serrano seeds from Seeds of Change, despite our chilly summer. So I will check out what else they have to offer. I also have a perennial chiltepin (from Redwood City Seeds) growing in a pot in our sunroom, though it is still getting started.

              Digression: did you read about those Texas modified habanero chiles? Milder than a jalapeno, but with all the flavor (so they say). I haven't tried 'em yet.

              1. re: patrick

                Being a chile purist, I would not be interested in trying a toned down habanero. What's the point? Part of the flavor is the heat (IMHO)!! If you do get to try them, let us know if you think the flavor really is the same as the authentic habanero.

              2. re: desert rat

                What's the high season for these chiles?

                1. re: patrick

                  They start in late July/early August, but Labor Day weekend and the next week of September are the high season...pods at their best.

                  good luck growing them in a mild climate. They like heat and lots of sun with a steady water supply in well-drained soil

                  1. re: desert rat

                    hey, thanks for that recipe, i gots some simmering down right now. hope you don't take offense, but i did adulterate it with some meat, garlic and a couple of spices (not much though).

                    1. re: Nab

                      I don't think I will be able to resist using some Mexican oregano.