Anaheim Chile Croque Monsieur

New Mexico Chiles are the dried form of the Red Anaheim Pepper. This chile has a thin flesh with an earthy chile flavor and undertones of wild cherries. This chile ranges from 2 – 4 on a heat scale of 1 to 10. The New Mexico Chile may be referred to as the California Chile or Chile Colorado. New Mexico Chiles are commonly used in Red Mexican or Southwestern sauces and is grown in Mexico. This mildly hot chile. Scoville heat units 8,000 – 12,000.

Suggested Use:
New Mexico Chiles are mildly hot and very popular in Southwest cooking. Great in sauces, salsa, rice dishes, stews and soups. Add directly to the cooking liquid along with other spices. Use in stir fry, or add to chicken or fish marinades.

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For the chile cream sauce:
1 Tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp flour
1/4 cup chopped roasted Anaheim chiles (~2 chiles)
3/4 cup milk (I use 2%)
1/4 cup grated Monterrey Jack

For the sandwiches:
6-8 slices of bread
Deli sliced ham
3-4 slices of cheese
1/4 cup chopped roasted New Mexico chiles
1/4 cup grated Monterrey Jack


Preheat oven to 400.

Over medium-low heat melt the butter and add the garlic. Stir until butter begins to bubble. Stir in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Stream in milk and whisk until smooth and then add the chiles. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes, until thickened. Add Monterrey jack and whisk until melted. Remove from heat and add salt & pepper to taste.

Lightly toasted slices of bread directly on the oven racks for ~2 minutes (just enough to make them a little more sturdy, not brown). Place a rack over a baking sheet. To build the sandwiches, lay half the slices of bread on the rack and top each with sliced ham. Spoon hatch cream sauce over the ham. Top with sliced cheese, remaining chiles, and the other slices of bread.

Spoon the remaining cream sauce over the tops of the sandwich, cover with the remaining grated cheese. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes and then switch the broiler on for 1-2 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and browning. Serve with a knife and fork.