Chile Peppers are our pride and joy in New Mexico! The state is the chile capital of the world, after all. They are the hallmark of New Mexican cuisine. Spicy and rich, red or green, New Mexico chile is the taste of New Mexico. They grow to perfection in New Mexico’s arid climate and high altitude. Having a bit of an addictive quality, we put chile on everything beyond burritos or enchiladas! Chile is great on eggs, on a burger, in your beans, in your mac n’ cheese. There is really no end to the culinary joy New Mexico chile brings. Can’t decide if you want red or green on your breakfast burrito? Then just have it “Christmas” which means half red and half green in New Mexican parlance. While I am a Christmas person myself, Mrs. Ortega, Office Ryan and little Vincente are definitely green chile people. And Mrs. Ortega claims to make the best green chile in all of Santa Fe!
Señora Ortega’s Green Chile Recipe
- 5 Hatch green chiles, rinsed and dried, roasted, skinned and seeds removed (leave some seeds for more heat!)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped (equaling about 1 cup)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon Wondra – Wondra does wonders! (can substitute with all-purpose flour)
- 1 cup chicken broth
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Several heaping tablespoons of love!
- Preheat broiler.
- Spread chiles on a baking sheet. Place under the broiler, about 5 inches from the heat and broil until the skins are blackened. Turn the chiles over with tongs and repeat.
- Remove the chiles and place them in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap to create a sauna for them. Let them steam for about 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, the skins should be loose. Remove the skins by wiping with an old tea towel (a paper towel will do). Remove the stem and seeds and chop (approximately into ½ inch pieces).
- In a medium-sized saucepan, add vegetable oil. Add the onion and sauté until starts to soften. Add garlic, cook for 1 minute. Do not let the onions or garlic brown!
- Sprinkle in the Wondra, cumin, and black pepper stir and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the broth while whisking. (If using flour instead of Wondra, whisk vigorously to avoid lumps – we are going for a thin gravy consistency ultimately). Add the chopped chiles, oregano and salt.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes until thickened. Remove from stovetop and allow to cool.
- Optionally, blend with a few pulses in a food processor if you prefer smooth over chunky chile.
- Refrigerate for up to 1 week in covered Tupperware.
Use your green chile on your enchiladas, burritos, in your black beans, on your scrambled eggs (add some cheddar cheese, too!), smother your steaks or pork chops int it, to make huevos rancheros, in your posole, or on top of your cheese burger – Mmmmm… green chile cheese burgers with bacon – especially yak burgers are the best!