Chorizo Potato and Egg Custard with New Mexican Chile Sauce

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. This is a mildly hot chile. Scoville heat units 8,000 – 12,000.

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For New Mexican chile sauce:

2-3 dried New Mexican chiles
2 garlic cloves, left unpeeled
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 (14 oz.) can stewed tomatoes including juice
3/4 tsp. salt

For potatoes and chorizo:

1 pound large boiling potatoes
1 onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 pound hot or sweet Spanish chorizo, finely chopped

For custard:

8 large eggs
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper


Make sauce:

Heat a dry heavy skillet (preferably cast-iron) over moderate heat until hot, then toast the chiles, pressing down on them with tongs and turning occasionally, about 1 minute. Transfer the chiles to a bowl. Toast the garlic in a skillet, turning occasionally, until softened and slightly charred, about 5 minutes, then transfer to a bowl. Toast the cumin in a skillet, stirring, until fragrant and a few shades darker, about 30 seconds, then transfer to a blender along with the tomatoes and salt. Discard the stems and seeds from chiles and add to the blender. Peel the garlic and add to blender. Purée until smooth.

Prepare potatoes and chorizo:

Preheat oven to 325F.

Peel the potatoes and cut crosswise into 1/8″ thick slices. Cook the potatoes in a 2-3 quart saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender but not falling apart, about 8 minutes, then drain in a colander. Arrange the slices, overlapping, in an oiled baking dish.

Cook the onion in oil in a large heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring, until the chorizo is heated through, about 5 minutes. Spoon the mixture evenly over the potatoes and top with 1 cup of sauce, spreading evenly.

Prepare custard and bake:

Whisk together the eggs, cream, salt and pepper until combined well and slowly pour into a baking dish. Bake in the middle of the oven until the custard is just set in center, about 35-45 minutes.

Let the custard stand for 5-10 minutes before cutting. Serve the remaining chile sauce on the side.

Yields 6 servings.

Recipe from Gourmet Magazine, April 2003.