Monday, March 2, 2015

Homemade Green Chile Sauce

New Mexico green chile, 
Creative Commons License
I write novels of adventure and romance set in the Southwestern United States. The novels touch on local culture, including food. In fact, for my most recent romantic suspense, The Dead Man’s Treasure, I put together a recipe booklet of foods mentioned in the book. Here's an excerpt on green chiles. (See also my post Red or Green: The New Mexico Chile.)

Roasted Green Chiles

This is an important ingredient in many recipes. In New Mexico, you can buy bags of frozen, roasted, and chopped green chiles. Elsewhere, grocery stores may have small cans of green chiles in the Mexican section. You can also buy Anaheim chiles – the closest to the New Mexico green chile – in the produce section and roast them yourself. Poblanos (also called pasilla peppers) are good as well, though they have a different flavor.

A gas grill is ideal, but the broiler works, and for two or three peppers I use the toaster oven.

  1. Wash the chiles. Use gloves if you don’t want to risk stinging hands (and eyes, if you rub them).
  2. Puncture the chile pepper so the steam can escape. Some people like to split each pepper lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and membranes first.
  3. Arrange the chiles in a single layer on a barbecue grill and cook over high heat, or place on a foil-covered baking sheet 4 to 5 inches from your oven’s broiler.
  4. Grill or broil the chile peppers until the skin is starting to blacken and bubble, turning the peppers to blister each side evenly.
  5. Cover the peppers with a damp kitchen towel, or seal them in a plastic container with a couple of ice cubes for at least ten minutes. This cools the chiles, and the steam also loosens the skin so it’s easier to peel.
  6. Peel off the skin while holding the chile under running water. Don’t forget your gloves! Remove the seeds and membranes if you didn’t do that at the beginning.
  7. Use the peppers within a few days, or freeze them in airtight bags. Chop them first if you expect to want chopped rather than whole green chiles for cooking.

Homemade Green Chile Sauce
from author/illustrator/fine artist Lois Bradley
Easy and good as base for green chile stew, or for huevos rancheros, enchiladas, etc.

3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 finely diced onion
1/2 tsp cumin
dash oregano
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
Salt/pepper to taste
2 cups chopped roasted green chile (about 6-8 Big Jims or comparable mild chile)
2 cups +/- chicken broth.
3 Tbsp. cornstarch with 3 Tbsp. water

  1. Sauté onion, cumin, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper in vegetable oil until onion is translucent.
  2. Stir in green chile and chicken broth. Bring to a boil.
  3. Thicken with a slurry of cornstarch and water. Turn heat to low and simmer 30 minutes.

Rebecca Westin is shocked to learn the grandfather she never knew has left her a bona fide buried treasure – but only if she can decipher a complex series of clues leading to it. The hunt would be challenging enough without interference from her half-siblings, who are determined to find the treasure first and keep it for themselves. Good thing Rebecca has recruited some help.

Sam is determined to show Rebecca that a desert adventure can be sexy and fun. But there’s a treacherous wildcard in the mix, a man willing to do anything to get that treasure – and revenge.

Action and romance combine in this lively Southwestern adventure, complete with riddles the reader is invited to solve to identify historical and cultural sites around New Mexico. See the DMT page of Kris Bock’s website for a printable list of the clues and recipes from the book.

The first book in the Southwest Treasure Hunters series is The Mad Monk’s Treasure. The Dead Man’s Treasure is book 2. Each novel stands alone and is complete, with no cliffhangers. This series mixes action and adventure with “closed door” romance. The stories explore the Southwest, especially New Mexico.



Rebecca’s hand shook as she reached for the box. It was a metal candy tin for peppermint bark. Maybe Grandpa had a sweet tooth? Or was this some random trash left by a tourist too lazy to bring it back to his car? She straightened and gazed down at the box. It had to hold the next clue. It would be too much of a coincidence – and too heartbreaking – if it were anything else.

She glanced at Sam and he nodded in encouragement, drawing close to her side. She swung open the lid. Several folded pieces of paper lay inside. A strip of masking tape on the inside lid had words in marker: “Take one and leave the others unless you are the last.”

Rebecca pulled out the top piece of paper and unfolded it.

Are they witches in disguise
Or prophets of the future?
The men who came here didn’t know.
They had destruction on their minds.
And they changed the world.
They ate of the flesh among bombers and bullets.
And so should you!

Then past the dead soldiers you’ll find a dead end.
One is the loneliest number
Walled off from its fellows.
Pay your respects and do not forget.

Another baffling poem. Rebecca wrinkled her nose. “This one’s kind of gruesome.”

Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance involving outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. In Counterfeits, stolen Rembrandt paintings bring danger to a small New Mexico town. Whispers in the Dark features archaeology and intrigue among ancient Southwest ruins. What We Found is a mystery with strong romantic elements about a young woman who finds a murder victim in the woods. The Mad Monk’s Treasure follows the hunt for a long-lost treasure in the New Mexico desert. In The Dead Man’s Treasure, estranged relatives compete to reach a buried treasure by following a series of complex clues. Read excerpts at or visit her Amazon page.

New Mexico green chile, by Littlemisslibrarian, Creative Commons License

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