Those of you that follow my Instagram and travels on social media know that my time in New Mexico 2 months ago was filled with references to the amazing food and red chili I was having. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever had so much chili in my life and it was a delicious unlike anything. EVER. Seriously.
And I’m not really into hot hot food. It’s likely why I opted to just indulge (constantly) in red chili sauce as oppose to the even more famous New Mexican Hatch Green Chili sauce. But the other reason I really loved the Hatch Red Chili sauce more was the complexity of flavor. There is a complex hint of smokey, chocolatey and sometimes even molasses without the sweetness that intoxicates me. I’d drink it, but it’s usually too hot for me to do that.
My mouth waters just thinking about it.
Ways To Have Hatch Red Chili Sauce
My favorite, by far was as dressing inside my scrambled eggs and cheese morning tacos. Yes. Take a warm, still steaming corn tortilla, spoon in some fluffy scrambled eggs, a sprinkle of Jack or Cheddar cheese and then drizzle that hot red sauce over it.
My mouth just watered again.
With quesadillas you can take 2-4 Tbsp of sour cream (depending on how many people you’re serving) place in a lovely dip bowl, then pour a heaping Tbsp of the chili sauce on top and use for dinning your quesadilla triangles.
Enchiladas, Tostadas, a side of refried beans with a good helping on top, baked potato with cheese, beans and sour cream adorned with a generous pour of red chili works well, or use a small amount to kick up your guacamole recipe, chile con carne, posole, etc.
The uses are endless, really and don’t have to be limited to Mexican or New Mexican dishes.
Gluten Free Red Chili Sauce
I had a hard time finding Hatch Red Chili sauce that wasn’t made with some flour in it. I am not exactly sure why it’s needed, other than to thicken it up if you’re not taking your time to make it. Anything bottled at the store had flour in it and I couldn’t eat it. Luckily, making it is easy, save for the procuring of the red chili pods. If you don’t live in New Mexico, getting dried hatch red chili pods can be a challenge.
If you don’t mind the environmental footprint you’re leaving or reaching farther beyond your own local culinary resources, you can order some here. At least once, do it. One of these bags is enough for at least 3 batches of sauce and the dried pods keep their fresh flavor for about 2 months if you place them in an air tight container. Also, note that you can order mild, medium and hot pods.
Hatch Red Chili Sauce
This recipe makes 4 cups of chili sauce. You can half the recipe or freeze half the sauce if you don’t need so much. I like keeping some frozen for those nights or weekends when you want to make something amazing, but don’t want to go through the entire process of making fresh sauce before a meal.
- 12 pods
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp crushed dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp very minced garlic
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- Note: If at the end you want to thicken 1/4 tsp of gluten free all purpose flour will do the trick, but I didn’t find it necessary.
1. Rinse and remove the stems and seeds from the pods. Note that the more seeds you leave in, the hotter the sauce will be. This is something you can experiment with over time.
2. Place pods in a stock pot and add just enough water to fully cover the pods.
3. Add Bay leaf to the water.
4. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for 20 minutes.
5. Turn off heat and let cook a bit. Approximately 10 minutes will do.
6. Remove bay leaf and pour water and pods into a blender to puree the mixture. (I have a Braun hand held immersion blender that works well for this, but a strong blender will work, or better yet, a Vitamix.
7. Pour mix back into the pot through a colander to remove the pulp created by the skin.
8. To the sauce in the pot add the cumin, oregano, garlic and salt. Mix and then season to taste. If the sauce is runnier than you would like, add a bit of flour (gluten free for those of you who are intolerant)
9. Serve hot or at room temperature.
10. Store in a glass jar with air tight lid. Keeps for a week.