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Hatch Chile Salsa Verde

August 23, 2015


Update:  If you haven’t been over to Emily’s “Cooking For Kishore” you should really go give her a visit.  Her very tasty looking, interesting recipes and the stories behind are always well presented and her food, whether traditional or fusion in style, reflects her multi-cultural life experience.  I feel we kind of have the same general outlook since I post recipes that are based on my Mexican-American upbringing.  Even though we come from different cultural backgrounds,  we share a desire to make food that satisfies and adapts to a particular time and place without losing the sense of tradition.  When she suggested that I participate in her series “Food ‘n Film”,  I could not resist.  Go here to see the October 2015 edition.  Perhaps you’d like to join the fun.  Now, you won’t find a salsa in “The War of the Worlds”, but this one will go well on the mentioned “…tamales, enchiladas, and hot dogs.”  Of course, if I had a food truck out there, I’d be offering strictly vegan food. My black bean nachos with the Hatch green chile salsa would be a good seasonal special on the imagined menu. Why did I write about this particular movie,  well,  read on to find out.  I’ll add that I’m a big fan of the old science fiction movies,  not caring a bit if they are considered a B-picture or lower in rating.  They take me back to the Saturday afternoon or late night TV presentations of giant creature movies like “Them!” “Tarantula” or “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms”.  Sometimes they were about invaders from outer space like “The War of the Worlds”.   It was like a weekly special event watching those old movies.  Many of them were weird and wonderful back then,  and many of those seem even weirder and more wonderful now.

Thank you Emily for sharing this post!


Below is the post as was originally presented.

Have you seen “The War of the Worlds”,   the original 1953 “Golden Era” of sci-fi movies version?  It’s a big budget, Technicolor film that was quite a hit during it’s day.  In my view,  it’s very much an entertaining movie even for today’s era of special effects extravaganzas.   While watching a dvd of it recently,  I could imagine the blockbuster impact it had on audiences at the time.  It’s a great movie all around.  There is a scene early in the movie where the townspeople,  officials, and journalists are gathered around a smoky crater where what they think is a meteor has crashed.   The curious onlookers are discussing what do with the site.  Someone suggests turning the area into a tourist attraction.  A Mexican bystander(played by Canadian Jewish  actor Jack Kruschen)  exclaims enthusiastically that  ”…tamales,  enchiladas, and hot dogs” can be sold to visitors.  It doesn’t seem like a big deal today, but this was 1953 Hollywood,  decades before food channels and the internet.  What’s also interesting to me is that he wants to sell Mexican and American food.  He looked, spoke  and ate like he could be one of our neighbors.  Hotdogs are one of those foods that easily crosses cultural lines.  We might have put salsa on ours, or taken a jalapeno with the yellow mustard or relish, but it’s still a hotdog.  Fast forward 60 years,  you can be sure traditional and non-traditional food trucks would be vying for space around that meteor,  and if they’re selling Mexican food and hot dogs, imagine the fusion menu that might be offered.  The food world has come a long way in the past 10-20 years don’t you think?

Now on to the salsa.  The Hatch green chile buying season is winding down for us.   As I mentioned in my “Hatch Green Chile and Roasted Garlic Sourdough Bread” post, we  get them in our stores only 2 or 3 weeks out of the year.  These chiles, which are imported from New Mexico, are very flavorful and versatile.  I have been enjoying incorporating them into just about everything except my coffee.   For example I’ve been adding them to a quick vegan rice pilaf/stir fry type of dish I like to make. (There’s fusion for you.) I’ve also been topping my potato tacos as well as my lentils or beans with some of the roasted diced chiles.   Today I’m making  a salsa verde with the help of a molcajete once again.  See my previous post, “Salsa de Chile Pequin” for more photos.  You may use the similar looking Anaheim chiles as a substitute,  but it won’t be quite the same.  Jalapeno or serrano peppers are other options. Our stores had a mild variety as well as a hot variety of Hatch pepper.  I used hot chiles for this recipe.


To roast or not to roast.   The Hatch chiles should be broiled or roasted.  Tomatillos are either broiled, oven roasted or pan roasted.  It’s nice to get the black blotches if possible.  The cooking brings out flavor and sweetness from them.   As far as the garlic and onion, you can do the same to whatever degree you want.  I did them both ways and prefered to keep them raw this time.



4 medium garlic cloves

3-4 tablespoons roughly chopped onion

3 Hatch green chiles for a hot salsa (2 for mild)

7-8 small tomatillos

leaves from 4-5 sprigs fresh cilantro

salt to taste

a pinch or two sugar (optional)

fresh lime juice to taste (optional)


Broil the Hatch chiles and tomatillos until they have softened a bit and you have some darkened spots.  Turn them over from time to time to cook evenly.  The tomatillos will probably take longer. It may take about 15 to 20 minutes for them to be done. Don’t let anything turn to mush as you want substance to work with in the molcajete.  After the chiles cool, peel them and remove the seeds.


Begin by grinding the peeled garlic cloves into a paste with the tejolote(pestle). Add the onion and continue working to a paste.  Next go in the chiles.  Give them a rough chop beforehand if you want.  No need to make a complete paste.  Leave a bit of chunkiness if you like.   Now work the tomatillos in one by one.  You can peel them before,  but the molcajete will take care of the peels if you keep at it.  I like to at least keep the darkened blotches in the salsa.  Careful not to squirt juice out while smashing!   The salsa should be somewhat chunky.   Add chopped cilantro and season with salt.  Sugar and lime juice are optional.  It’s really an easy salsa to make and the texture and flavor is distinct from those made with a blender.  This simple but tasty sauce will brighten up your taco.


It went pretty good with the black bean nachos.





19 Comments leave one →
  1. August 24, 2015 6:15 am

    This sounds great – I just need to source the chiles and the tomatillos now!!!

  2. Marcella Rousseau permalink
    August 24, 2015 4:48 pm

    guess what? My local Kroger has advertised the Hatch chilies and I am on my way to pick some up right now! Cheers!

    • August 24, 2015 10:17 pm

      Let me know how you like them!

      • Marcella Rousseau permalink
        August 27, 2015 5:32 pm

        I liked them but they were milder than I thought they would be. Maybe I just picked a less spicy pepper. I only got one. The seeds were spicier because I did taste one of them. I still like the Serrano peppers the best.

    • August 27, 2015 9:21 pm

      Glad you got to try one! What I forgot to mention is that we had a choice of hot or mild peppers in our stores. I used the hot variety which I didn’t think was overpowering. Thanks, I’ll made that distinction in the recipe.

      • Marcella Rousseau permalink
        August 31, 2015 5:00 pm

        I’m glad I mentioned it. I was wondering if you were also changing your diet to milder peppers! I didn’t see any distinction at Kroger but they had a big pile of them!

    • August 31, 2015 7:16 pm

      No, I’m not changing my pepper diet! There did seem to be a difference between the mild and hot Hatch peppers. I preferred the hot, but once they are gone, fresh ones won’t be around till next year.

      • Marcella Rousseau permalink
        September 15, 2015 4:23 pm

        That sounds like tangelos. They have a short growing season and I seem to miss them if I’m not paying close attention. I’m going to pick some up when I leave the library even though they are $.99 each!

  3. August 24, 2015 11:24 pm

    This salsa looks so good! I’m pinning it in case I find some Hatch chiles this year.

    • August 25, 2015 1:58 am

      Thank you! I think it tastes even better the next day. I made a third batch this afternoon adding a couple of tomatoes that needed using up.

  4. September 14, 2015 2:35 am

    I could eat my body weight of this 😉

  5. October 24, 2015 3:56 pm

    Hi Gerard, I’d love for you to add this recipe to a new Blog Link up I started called ‘Food ‘n Film.’ Here’s the link for October:

    • October 25, 2015 1:35 am

      Thanks for the suggestion Emily! Great idea for a series!

      • October 25, 2015 11:49 pm

        Thanks Gerard for such a lovely write up, and for joining up! I have to say since finding your blog, I’ve found a kindred spirit who loves cooking with stories and tradition. Thanks for your support and the delicious recipes! 🙂

    • October 26, 2015 12:12 am

      Thank *you* for your support and recipes Emily! I always get inspired by your blog. You are really into your food and cooking, always delivering the best and what’s real. I’ll keep your series in mind for other possible entries.


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