This all-purpose sauce recipe is from the southern part of New Mexico, where green chile is the one of the state's top food crops and is used more commonly than the red form. It is a great topping for enchiladas and is often served over scrambled eggs. Variations: To thicken the sauce, make a roux by sauteing 1 tablespoon flour in 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, taking care not to let it burn. Slowly stir the roux into the sauce and cook to the desired thickness. Coriander and Mexican oregano may be added to taste. For added heat, add more New Mexican chiles or a serrano or two.
Horseradish is a classic condiment that’s served with roast meats—beef in particular—and cooked or raw vegetables. Since horseradish is very volatile (the active ingredient is isothiocyanate) and loses its flavor and aroma quickly, this simple sauce should be made close to serving time. For an added hit of chile heat, I sometimes add ground habanero chile.
This method of making chile sauce differs from others using fresh New Mexican chiles because these chiles aren't roasted and peeled first. Because of the high sugar content of fresh red chiles, this sauce is sweeter than most. I harvested some chiles from his garden one late summer day, made a batch of this sauce, and ate every drop as a soup! It makes a tasty enchilada sauce, too.
Until recently, New Mexican chiles were rarely used in Texas cooking. But as the popularity of chili con carne cookoff contests increased, cooks began experimenting with chiles other than just piquíns and jalapeños. Here is one result of this broadening of the chile pepper experience.
In northern Mexico, the chiles, tomatoes, and onions are grilled before making Salsa Cruda, so why not substitute some fried vegetables? Separately frying the ingredients and flavoring with cilantro keeps this from being a pasta sauce. Serve this with chips or as a topping for grilled meat, poultry, or fish.