Green Chile Sauce

I make a number of green chile sauces. Which I choose often depends on what I have on hand, how fancy I want to be, or to be honest, how lazy or ambitious I’m feeling! One of the really terrific things about living in the southwest is that you can often find freshly-roasted green chiles in the local grocery store. One local store in Sedona often has them and I even bring them to friends occasionally – it’s a bit simpler than trying to track them down in the city. In fact, I have a hard time resisting that amazing aroma, so I buy them even when I don’t have anything specifically in mind. Which often leads me to a recipe like this.

This is based on a recipe from the Coyote Cafe that I pulled out of a magazine years (and years!) ago. I’ve made it exactly as written (Roast Pork Loin with Green Chile Sauce and Soft Polenta – which is amazing), and also on it’s own like today’s Green Chile Sauce.

For this recipe I used chiles that I picked up from the store. They are already pre-roasted and cooled in a plastic bag, so ready to clean up and use in any way. I usually just buy a nice-sized bag and go from there – this kind of recipe is really not that fussy. (if you don’t live where you can get fresh chiles, you can make this sauce with canned too. It’s still good. If you have a choice, pick fire-roasted chiles (like Ortega) rather than others that have just been steamed to remove the skins). If you can find fresh chiles though, I really encourage you to roast your own (I have directions along with the recipe).

Once they are cleaned, the chiles are roughly chopped, along with the onions and the garlic. If you are not going to blend the sauce, you’ll want to be more careful, but with this one, I almost always do, so I don’t worry too much about making everything a perfect size.

The onion is sauteed in the oil for a couple of minutes. Next the garlic, cumin and oregano are added for a couple of minutes more. The chiles and the broth are then added to the onion mixture.

This all simmers together for about 20 minutes. In a cup, mix together the cornstarch and cold water, then stir into the chile mixture. Once that’s in, I use my immersion blender to make a relatively smooth sauce.

This all gets simmered together for another 10 minutes. Just before serving, stir in the cilantro.

This sauce keeps pretty well for a few days, and also freezes well, which makes it a good candidate for making a larger batch than you’ll need right away. I’m showing this sauce with some home-made tamales and refried beans. In addition to the original idea of the roast pork and polenta, this is fantastic with eggs, any kind of roast meats (even a hot dog!), or as a sauce for quesadillas, tacos or any other kind of Mexican snack/meal.

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