Hatch Chili Verde Mother Sauce
What are Hatch Green Chilies?
True Hatch Chiles are a seasonal treat, that is unique to the state of New Mexico in the town of Hatch. Grown in a fertile valley of the Rio Grande, the soil is rich in vitamins and minerals from ocean beds formed long ago. The climate of this South Western region creates spring and summer days that are hot followed by dark cold nights, due to its high elevation. All these unique growing conditions combine to make the perfect terroir for chili pepper plants. These environmental advantages make the Hatch Chile so special and sot after. The amazing flavors from these growing conditions result in the chile peppers’ flesh being thick, fruity, earthy with just the perfect amount of heat or Scoville (SHU). This is why I wanted to find these Hatch Green Chilies and make a Hatch Chili Verde Mother Sauce recipe.
Mollie Stone’s Market, a grocery store chain in the Bay Area, brought in Melissa’s Produce. They came with 4 different types of fresh Hatch Green Chili Peppers, two chili roasters, and lots of other Hatch chili pepper products for sale. The Hatch chili pepper starts green and will turn red if left on the plant longer, giving them more heat and flavor, as they fully ripen. The Scoville heat units or SHU for the 6 varieties of Hatch chilies range from 1,000 – 12,000 SHU. From Melissa’s Produce, they divide the heat leaves and sell a Mild, Medium, Hot, and Extra Hot. For reference, a jalapeño chili pepper has a 5,000 SHU rating. This year, Mollie Stone’s is offering a pre-order for Hatch Chile, already roasted and ready for pickup. Check out their site for dates and store locations!
For the varieties of Hatch chili peppers, the most available variety is the Anaheim pepper. While only true Hatch chilies peppers can be called Hatch if they are grown in the Rio Grande, the seeds and origins are very similar. Pueblo chile, Rio Grande chile, Big Jim, and other varieties are available and look very similar in size and shape. Usually, these chili peppers are between 6 – 9 inches long and come green when fresh. Dried red Hatch chilies are available the rest of the year and sometimes can be found in a wreath or decorative braid.
How to Make Hatch Chili Verde Mother Sauce:
To make a Hatch Chili Verde Mother Sauce, I got fire-roasted green chilies. I went with more of a mild | medium heat chili, to be able to add more chili peppers to the sauce, capturing as much of their essence. The fire roasting helps caramelize the flavors of the peppers and makes peeling off their skin a lot easier. If you don’t have access to a chili roasted, place the peppers over an open flame (if you have a gas range), rotating periodically, to evenly roast all the sides of the peppers. This can be done over a gas or charcoal grill, a gas stove burner in one’s kitchen, or using a propane | butane torch, fitted with a SEARZALL | Stainless Steel Culinary Torch Attachment.
If Hatch Green Chiles aren’t available in your area, they can be bought online and in some stores. They can be found in a can or in jars, already roasted, peeled, and seeded. These two varieties are convenient and will last in your pantry for a while. They are also pretty close to the freshly roasted Hatch Green Chilies, roasted for you. Some grocery stores sell frozen bags of pre-roasted Hatch Chiles, that can also be used. As this is a homemade Chile Verde recipe, you can use Hatch Green Chilies or substitute a mix of Anaheim chilies, poblano | pasilla peppers with jalapeño to extra kick of flavor | heat.
Roasted tomatillos are another key flavoring in this recipe. Tomatillos (Physalis philadelphica and Physalis ixocarpa) come in two colors, green and purple-green. They are wrapped like a present with a thin papery skin, with the fruit being slightly sticky underneath. Add the tomatillos to a bowl filled with water to help easily remove the skin and remove that stickiness. To increase the layers of flavor, roasting them under a broiler, not only darkens the skin but creates depth and rounds out the tartness of these green tomatoes. Caramelized yellow onions, roasted garlic, cumin, coriander, cilantro, and oregano round out this South Western mother sauce, finishing with a touch of lime for acid and extra balance. The finished sauce has a great blend of sweet, heat, and sour, combined with the flavors that the Hatch chile brings to the dish.
Hatch Chili Verde Mother Sauce Uses:
Once this mother sauce is made, it can be served over a ton of different proteins, vegetables and used as a mother sauce. I’ve slightly modified this recipe to create a Homemade Chicken Chile Verde Recipe and a Homemade Pork Chile Verde recipe, as this sauce is vegetarian | vegan in nature. You can use this Hatch Chili Verde Mother Sauce as a base to poach eggs in, creating a South Western Style Shakshuka. Try this sauce in enchiladas, making a Hatch Green Chili Enchiladas, using either chicken, duck, pork, grilled | roasted vegetables, or frozen, thawed, and roasted tofu (for more texture to the finished tofu). Intensify the flavor of the seasonal peppers by stuffing some roasted and seeded Hatch Green Chilies with a blend of Monterey Jack (or pepper jack), Oaxaca, and fresh queso fresco cheeses, pouring over the sauce and baking them in a 350°F | 177°C until the sauce is bubbling about 25 minutes.
Try using this recipe as a dip, for tortillas (flour or corn), poured over chips to make nachos, make tacos, or a wet burrito…
This mother sauce can be used to make a Green Chile Stew, Green Chile Pozole, Hatch Green Chili Tamales, and Chilaquiles! One Facebook friend used this Hatch Green Chile Recipe and poured it over carnitas, to serve for dinner. He took the amount of Hatch Green Roasted Chilies and doubled it, reduced the water | stock, to create a thicker sauce, that could be easily adapted to create these other recipe ideas.
Just a few ideas on how to use this delicious and seasonal recipe. Try canning or freezing this recipe in serving-size portions, stored for a longer period of time, making an easy and scrumptious weeknight dinner.
Hatch Chili Verde Mother Sauce Recipe Variations:
- If you can’t find true Hatch Chilies, you can substitute them with a blend of poblano peppers, Anaheim peppers, cubanelle peppers, with a few jalapeño peppers adding in for heat.
- Depending on your level of ideal heat, use a combination of mild, medium, hot and extra hot Hatch chilies to get the desired spiciness.
- If you like to cook with beer, use beer instead of water | stock | broth, to add a unique twist and flavor to this recipe. Try using lower hopped ales and lagers, such as an American Brown Ale (increasing the flavor of roasted chilies by using the kilned malted barley), Vienna Lager (the Mexican Lager with a smooth malty undertone), Chili Beer (complementing the chili flavors and heat used in the brew), to a Gose (playing with the tartness of tomatillos and the lime juice, from the kettle-soured ale).
- Avocado leaves may be added to the recipe, bringing an extra level of herbaceousness to the recipe, adding more of that Hispanic undertone. Just make sure, to either purée them with what you blend or remove them before serving.
- While tomatilloes are the traditional ingredient to craft a Chile Verde sauce, one could use green tomatoes. There comes a point when you might have more tomatoes than you know what to do with… Or that will get ripe enough to eat. Why not use green tomatoes as a substitute?!?! A slightly more Southern version of the classic South Western version.
Ideas on How To Use This Hatch Chili Verde Mother Sauce Recipe:
- Hatch Green Chile Shakshuka (baked eggs in Chili Verde)
- Homemade Pork Chile Verde
- Pour over beer brined pork chops, that have been grilled | smoked | roasted.
- Homemade Chicken Chile Verde Recipe
- Use as a salsa, for chips, or nachos
- Make burritos | tacos | enchiladas | quesadillas with it
- Mix in grilled or roasted vegetables (squash, zucchini, red onions, eggplant, asparagus, mushrooms, tomatoes) to make a soup | stew
Makes: about a gallon of Hatch Chili Verde Mother Sauce
Serves: 8 – 10 guests
|128 ounce||20 minute|
In the culinary world, there are many mother sauces or sauces that everyone should know how to make. This Hatch Chili Verde Mother Sauce recipe deserves to be on this list for your culinary recipe arsenal.
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds preferably organic
- 1 tablespoon cumin, seeds preferably organic
- 2 tablespoon oil, avocado or olive oil
- 1 each onion, yellow, large, peeled and chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt, kosher
- 10 each garlic, cloves roasted and peeled
- 1 pound tomatillos, cleaned, peeled
- 1 pound chilies, Hatch Green, roasted, peeled and de-seeded
- 2 tablespoon miso, white
- 2 tablespoon oregano, fresh no stems
- 2 each bay leaves optional
- 4 cup water | stock | broth,
- 1 bunch cilantro, fresh stems removed
- 1 each lime, juiced
- In a dry Dutch oven or medium size thick-bottomed pot, add the coriander and cumin seeds. Place the pot over medium heat and toast the spices to help release all their essential oils. Stir them with a wooden spatula until they are fragrant and just start to pop. Transfer the seeds to a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder and let cool. Grind them fine and set aside.
- In the now-empty pot, that has been preheated, add the avocado (or other) oil, chopped onion, and salt. Place over medium heat and cook the onion for a good 10 - 15 minutes, until they just start to become caramelized. Stir somewhat frequently.
- Preheat the oven to the broiler, set to high. Set the oven rack to the highest position. Place a large bowl with water in your sink. Add the tomatillos and let soak for about 5 minutes. this will help loosen the papery skin. Remove the skins, and lightly rub the surface of the tomatillos to remove any stickiness. Pat them dry.
- Place the tomatillos into a dry cast iron pan, arranging them in a single layer, placed over high heat. Once the green tomatoes start to sizzle, move the pan to the top rack in the oven and let the tomatillos roast for 10 - 15 minutes.
- The tomatillos will be topped with a light char, some will split open and some liquid will be present in the pan. Remove them from the oven and set aside.
- Once the onions are caramelized, add the roasted tomatillos, roasted garlic cloves, the reserved ground coriander, and cumin. Stir the mixture well, squeezing the tomatillos. helping them release any moisture. continue to cook for another 5 - 10 minutes.
- Have the roasted, peeled, and seeded Hatch Green Chilies chopped up. Add them to the onion | tomatillos mixture and add the white miso, oregano and bay leave. Stir well, to combine and once the mixture is boiling, add the water | stock | broth. Bring the pan | pot back to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook for 30 minutes. Stir semi-frequently.
- To add more color and flavor, chop cilantro, leaving a few stems. Once the sauce has cooked for 30 minutes, add the cilantro.
- To prepare the final Hatch Chili Verde Mother Sauce, purée with either a stick | immersion blender or pulse in a blender. It's best not super smooth, but with some texture | chunks left in the final sauce. Taste the sauce and add the freshly squeezed lime juice. It should add a nice brightness to the sauce. Adjust with more salt or lime juice if needed. If more heat is desired, one can add cayenne pepper or chili pepper flakes to add that extra kick.
- The Hatch Chili Verde Mother Sauce is ready to use. It can be chilled and frozen in serving size portions or mixed with grilled vegetables, roasted meats, or tofu. This sauce will last for a week in the refrigerator or frozen for 6 months.
11 thoughts on “Hatch Chili Verde Mother Sauce”
I try to roast Hatch Chili’s every year when I see them in the store. Until now I usually roast, portion and then freeze the chili’s for later use. This sauce is a great way to do the same for something creative tonight, and a few meals in the future too, thanks Chef Sean for the inspiration. Cheers
My pleasure, to share the love of delicious, seasonal, and inspiring ingredients like the Hatch Chili! Cheers!
Great use for my addiction to Hatch chilies; the recipe was clearly laid out, and the results were spectacular! Used with eggs for breakfast, and a pork chili verde dinner so far. Thanks again for the inspiration!
Wow you have some disgusting ways to make chili. We do not make chili with all the junk in it. Why do you people leave the seeds out? I am so glad that my mother and relatives made it the right way. People in NM Don’t make it the way you are saying either. Must be transplants from some where other then Co or NM, sand Luis valley cause no one that is born and raised here do not make it that way and put all that junk in it.
Thank you for your comment. I am not from New Mexico, and this recipe isn’t trying to be accurate to what locals make.
My approach to this Hatch Chile Mother Sauce recipe was to make a version, that enhances the delicious flavors of the seasonal chile that I love, working in a few non-traditional ingredients to bring out the flavors of the Hatch chilies while making the resulting Mother Sauce perfect for vegetables, chicken, pork or other uses. By no means, was I trying to offend a purist.
I have made many batches of this recipe, canning it for later in the year, and have had lots of great feedback from fellow chile heads.
The beauty of cooking is experimentation. Is it authentic to NM, not really, but so what? Let people enjoy their food the way they want to. Stop being so judgmental and put up your own recipe instead of being an internet warrior if you think you can do better.
Thanks for the recipe and introducing me to hatch chilies. With the spices it has a Indian chutney vibe. I spooned it over some semi soft cheese I broiled. I could see taking a baking dish and layering in some soft goat cheese and topping with the sauce and baking it til bubbling. Top with cilantro and serve with chips. I might give that a go next! Or use it as a sauce for samosas. Thanks again!
Whipped a batch yesterday. Went with 2x the green Chile, and opted for a thicker base sauce, less water. Rich and hearty sauce. Some recipes I’ve made with this base were Green Chile stew, Green Chile Pozole and Chilaquiles. I need to cut back on meat for health reasons , I used the base mother sauce to whip up a batch of vegan “frijoles borrachos”! You can pretty much tweak the recipe to your liking by adjusting the chiles or spices! Cheers!
Thanks for the recipe!
I picked up a small take out box of freshly roasted ( using a rotating large drum at the grocery store) labeled Medium. There were some boxes labeled hot, but I remembered how hot those were a few years back when I roasted my own!
Surprise! My sauce was very firery! I think theyust have mixed up the boxes! But nevertheless the sauce is smooth and flavorful. I added homemade chicken stock for my liquid and substituted 1T honey for the white miso. Did you mention what the miso was for?
Also, shame on the commentor named B. You’ll get one in every bunch! I liked it with “all the junk”. 😂
It is difficult, as to what the Hatch Chilies are labeled boxes as… My understanding is that the Hatch Chili Peppers, all Mild | Medium | Hot | Extra Hot are from the same plant. It all depends on how long they are on that plant, becoming spicier with a longer grow time on the plant. Yet labeling is key. I just learned that the darker green color of the pepper indicates a hotter pepper, lighter green less spicy… I will test this more this season. For reference, Pueblo chile, Rio Grande chile, Big Jim, and other varieties are available and look very similar in size, shape, yet will have different heat levels…
For the miso, it adds a touch of sweetness, but more umami, that is that 5th food flavor outside of Salty | Sweet | Sour | Bitter. The miso, as it is fermented, adds more richness, depth, and complexity to the recipe. It’s not a traditional ingredient, yet I feel it adds more character to the recipe resulting sauce.
This is my second year growing and roasting my own hatch chiles. I came across this recipe last year and it’s fabulous! I made a double batch for jar canning. It’s different from a traditional green verde sauce and I like that! It’s very versatile, my favorite use is using it as a chicken white chili base. I use half beer and half stock to add another level of depth to the sauce. Thanks for thinking a bit outside the box Sean. Adding it to my yearly arsenal of hot sauces and salsas.