From: Cafe Pasquals Cookbook Spirited Recipes From Santa Fe Cafe Pasquals Cookbook by Katherine Kagel
Cafe Pasqual’s is named after San Pasqual, the folk saint of Mexican and New Mexican kitchens and cooks. Their historic, pueblo-style adobe cafe is located one block southwest of the Santa Fe plaza, in the heart of downtown. They are proponents of the local foods movement, incorporating locally sourced, organic ingredients into their outstanding New Mexican fare. This is a very popular place, seating only fifty at a time. It is a good idea to make reservations.
Chile Verde Sauce
Cafe Pasqual’s chile verde is outstanding. For those unfamiliar with chile verde, it is the gravy of New Mexico. We eat green chile on virtually everything; sometimes as a sauce, sometimes simply roasted and chopped. Cafe Pasqual’s uses this sauce to smother omelets, eggs, enchiladas and burritos. The uses for this elixir is only limited by the imagination of the chef. I have used it for many things, from augmenting the ‘punch’ of a pizza to using it as a sauce with chips. It is a nice finish on western style hash browns as well. If you add beans and a few other ingredients, it can easily become a soup. Versatile.
Adjust green chile variety to suit heat tolerance. I tend to use a hotter variety, like Sandia for the mild and something with more kick, like Barker for the hotter. Individuals with lower heat tolerance may choose to use milder peppers. Meaty varieties, like Poblanos, are the best substitute, but it does alter the flavor considerably. It isn’t bad, just different…and wimpy by comparison.
For those far from New Mexico, this recipe can be prepared with fresh, frozen, canned or dried green chile, though fresh chile is preferable and can be ordered from The Hatch Chile Store. If using dried green chile, soak it in hot water, covered for 45 minutes to rehydrate, then drain, seed and chop.
- 2 cups New Mexico green chile (pick your heat, the milder of your choices)
- 1 cup New Mexico green chile (pick your heat, the hotter of your choices)
Three cups of chile in total. Roast, peel, seed and chop your chile.
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 medium white onion, diced
- 2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
- 6 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt (to taste)
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Place all the ingredients, except the vegetable oil and flour, in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Simmer, uncovered for 20-30 minutes until the juice has thickened and becomes opaque, stirring occasionally to prevent burning or sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Whisk the oil and flour together in a small bowl until smooth to form the base for a roux. Place in a saucepan over medium-high heat until hot and bubbling. Reduce the heat to low and whisk constantly until the roux is slightly brown and has a nutty smell.
- Remove from the heat and add 1/2 cup of the green chile mixture to the roux. Whisk until smooth. Add the roux to the remaining chile mixture and cook over low heat for approximately 15 minutes until the sauce thickens. Add salt to taste.
- Remove from the heat and cool.
The sauce can be covered and stored in a non-reactive container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The sauce can be frozen up to two months. Reheat in a non-reactive pan over medium-low heat, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.
Please leave your recipe modifications in the comments. I am a big fan of using a recipe as a baseline, modifying as I go.
If you live in an area where the only green chile available is canned, you can order outstanding frozen green chile from the Hatch Chile Store. Hatch Chile Store ships frozen red and green chile nationwide year around. They have mild to hot varieties available. Each package is 1 pound, which is approximately 2 cups.