OK, so I’ve never had Hatch Green Chiles before. The Food Network opened our eyes to them over the years and we felt terribly left out that we had no way to get them around here. Well, lo and behold this year we very much by accident came upon a little shelf of them in the produce department in our local Meijer store. I was excited and also apprehensive. How do I prepare the salsa? What recipes can they be used in? I’ve been so out of touch with my Mexican cooking skills lately that I was really at a loss. DH was kind enough to get a couple pounds of tomatillos and bunches of cilantro so that I could experiment.
I did experiment and it was such a happy result. The peppers were roasted in the oven at 400 degrees F until the skins started to get toasty brown and separate from the pepper. Some of them were being stubborn so the last few minutes I put them under the broiler. This took about 30 minutes give or take with all the turning I did to make sure they were evenly roasted. After I took them out of the oven I placed them all in a paper bag and let them steam in their own juices for about 10 minutes while I removed the husks and rinsed a pound of tomatillos. I placed the tomatillos in a non-stick pan and turned the heat on to medium high to allow them to pan roast while I removed the skins and the majority of the seeds from the hatch chilies. When this was done I put the tomatillos, peppers, a 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tsp cumin, the juice of 1/2 a lime, 1 small onion and 4 cloves of garlic and just a touch of black pepper in the blender. Blend til smooth.
Once the salsa base was smooth I gave it a taste and adjusted my salt and heat to taste with the addition of a jalapeño. I put the salsa in a pot to come to a simmer and since I wanted to use it as an enchilada sauce I added a can of Swanson Chicken broth. Once it came to a boil I reduced the heat and poured in a tablespoon of corn starch that I’d dissolved in cold water. This lends a thickness and extra coating ability to the sauce which is something desirable if you are going to pour it over tamales, enchiladas or large burritos. I allowed the sauce to simmer. The smell was intoxicating!
When all was said and done I think I could have done well with a few more cloves of garlic and a smidge extra salt but over all it was tasty. That evening I made a huge pan of chicken enchiladas and poured a generous amount of Hatch Green Chili Salsa over them before sprinkling cheese on top and sliding them back in the oven to bake.
The next day I made chili and put in a couple ladles full of Hatch Chili Salsa which lent a very pleasant richness and depth of flavor to our chili. I used that sauce for everything over the next week. Sad thing is we have no sauce left and no where locally that has the chilies any more.
Tomatillo Hatch Green Chile Salsa
1 lb tomatillos, roasted
1 lb hatch green chiles, roasted, peeled and seeded (the more seeds you remove the more mild it will be; I suggest reserving the seeds just in case it is too mild and you’d like to add some back for extra heat. I didn’t do that and had to add a jalapeño for extra heat.)
1/2 tsp salt (more to taste if desired)
1 small onion
4 to 6 cloves of garlic – may be roasted to mellow flavor before adding
Juice of 1/2 a lime
2 tsp ground cumin
This is tasty just as is on tacos or chips or pork rinds. . . .
To thin out and make your salsa in to a sauce:
1 or 2 14.5 oz cans Swanson chicken broth
1 to 2 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in small amount of cold water
Basically, for every can of broth add another tablespoon of cornstarch.