My Roasted Tomatillo and Hatch Green Chile Salsa is so versatile… Try it with chips, on your favorite taco, or as a finishing sauce on Mexican spice rubbed and grilled pork chops!
You know you are from New Mexico when you have an extra freezer just for chile.
~~ Local humor.
There is nothing like the smoky, fruity heat of New Mexico’s “claim to fame” – Hatch green chile. Hatch green chile, tomatillos, sweet onion, and an entire bulb of garlic get roasted until charred, then pulsed in the food processor with fresh cilantro/coriander. Every New Mexican has a different “recipe” for salsa verde (green sauce). You’re likely to find both fresh and cooked versions, with and without lime juice, chunk or smooth, etc. After 22 years in Las Cruces – a mere 30 minute drive from Hatch, New Mexico – I definitely have my own opinions on how to use those beautiful green pods!
First, let me explain what this sauce is NOT. This is not a green chile enchilada sauce recipe. If you are fortunate enough to have enjoyed a plate of traditional Hatch green chile enchiladas (with or without a fried runny egg), you are aware that the sauce truly highlights the green chile in its simplicity.
This thick, rich sauce bursts with the complex flavors achieved in the maillard reaction. The maillard reaction, simply put, is the chemical reaction that occurs between amino acids and reducing sugars that give browned foods their depth of flavor. Some foods cry out for the bright acidity of a pico de gallo or salsa fresca (think fish tacos), while others pair better with the bold, earthy flavors of my Roasted Tomatillo and Hatch Green Chile Salsa (like chunky pork carnitas). This recipe makes a about 4 cups; much of it will be frozen for later use.
The day I made this batch of salsa, I “pulled out all the stops,” and made Mexican Spiced Pork Chops With Salsa Verde and Cotija. I grilled beautiful bone-in pork chops after applying a Mexican spice rub. The grilled chops were topped with the salsa, then garnished with crumbled cotija and chopped cilantro. The main dish was accompanied by cilantro rice and roasted delicata squash finished with a honey, lime juice, and chipotle glaze. Picante pero deliciosa! Those recipes will follow this one… 🙂
You may have noticed in the photo above the package of Hot Hatch Green Chile from The Hatch Chile Store. Last year, I was delighted to be able to purchase a 25 pound sack of green chile and have it roasted at my local HEB market. This year, however, HEB did not supply the chile to the Rio Grande Valley. Fortunately, quality chile is available via the Hatch Chile Store! It arrived in perfect 1 pound bags and still nearly frozen.
Helpful hint: Green chile gets hotter as it sits in your freezer. I received medium, medium hot, and hot, and elected to use the hot chile up first! 🙂 Starting with roasted, peeled, and chopped chile means less work when you make the salsa. If you cannot get Hatch chile in any form, substitute poblanos or anaheims, but be sure to roast them with other vegetables, then peel, seed, and chop them.
Do you have a favorite salsa? How do you like to serve it? Inquiring minds want to know!
Roasted Tomatillo and Hatch Green Chile Salsa
- 8-10 tomatillos
- 1 pound Hatch green chile (see notes)
- 1 onion quartered
- 1 bulb garlic halved horizontally (see photo in post)
- olive oil to drizzle
- 1 bunch cilantro/coriander cut at the base of the leaves
- broth/stock/water to thin
- sea salt and ground pepper to taste.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. I cook on "convection roast," and my oven makes the adjustment to 400 degrees.
- Remove the husks from the tomatillos and rinse. They will be sticky, but it disappears in the roasting process. Place them on a baking sheet.
- Add the quartered onion, garlic halves, and green chile if it needs to be roasted.
- Drizzle with olive oil, and place in hot oven.
- Roast 20-30 minutes until well caramelized and some charring is present.
- Remove, and set aside to cool.
- Once cool, pop garlic out of its skin, remove seeds and stems from chile if necessary, add the roasted vegetables and cilantro to the bowl of your food processor.
- Note: I add chopped chile after pulsing the other vegetables and cilantro. Feel free to add them in at the same time.
- Pulse until desired consistency, adding liquid as needed.
- Season to taste.
If you can't get Hatch green chile, substitute a few Anaheim chiles and a couple of jalapeño or serrano for heat. It all depends on your preferred heat level!