Down the Hatch: Salmon with Hatch Chile Sauce

Late August brings Hatch chiles to the markets.  From New Mexico, these beauties resemble Anaheim chiles but are much more flavorful, with hints of apple and a smokey quality that make them perfect for roasting.  They add a tangy punch of flavor and spice to meat and fish dishes. 

At my local Bristol Farms, hatch chiles were the hype of the market, and I picked up a few along with a flyer with several recipes to try at home.  Most appealing was the grilled salmon recipe with hatch chile cream sauce (adapted to my liking below).

To really make the dish pop, I added a garnish of finger limes, another August produce find.  Finger limes aren’t like any citrus you’ve seen before.  They’re tiny and adorable and when you cut them in half you find little cavier-like lime pearls.  You can’t “juice” them per se, but the lime “caviers” added a touch of sweet soapy lime citrus to the dish and look really impressive on the plate.  Fun stuff.  (Also try adding finger limes to tuna poke. Yummy.)

The hatch cream sauce for my salmon used basic simple ingredients and was easy enough to make (though you need to bust out your blender), and anything creamy on salmon is a treat.  Grilling the salmon is the only way to go for this recipe because you want that smokiness from the grill to complement the sauce.  I served my salmon with an heirloom tomato and feta salad and an Oregon chardonnay.  A perfect late summer meal to enjoy on the patio.

*Note: if you have any extra cream sauce, reserve and refrigerate it.  The cold cream sauce will turn into an aioli of sorts.  Last night we grilled burgers and topped them with grilled hatch chiles and used the cold cream sauce in place of mayo.  Delish!

Behold: grilled salmon with hatch chile cream sauce and finger lime cavier.  Fancy, eh?

Grilled Salmon with Hatch Chile Cream Sauce

Serves 6
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 25 minutes
Meal type Main Dish


  • 3 Hatch Chiles (Anaheims will work if Hatch aren't in season)
  • 6 pieces Salmon (6 oz portions; I used King salmon, but any salmon will do. Get fresh and wild if you can afford it.)
  • 2 Green onions (Finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup Dry white wine
  • 1 Lime
  • 1.5 cups Heavy Cream
  • Olive oil


This recipe makes enough sauce for 6 portions of salmon.  You can make less salmon and reserve leftover sauce for another use.

Adapted from Jamie's Gwen's recipe found on flyer in Bristol Farms market.


First roast the chiles by placing them on your hot grill or directly on top of your stove burner. Turn with tongs until skin is evenly charred and blackened all over. Then place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 5 minutes. The steam in the bowl helps loosen the skin. Remove skin by rubbing the charred bits with a paper towl. Then slice open and discard seeds. Finely dice.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in pan. When hot add onions and saute for 1 minute. Then add roasted and diced chiles.
3. Add white wine and simmer until almost all of the wine has evaporated.
Add the cream and boil on medium heat until cream is reduced by half and sauce is thickened.
Squeeze juice of the lime into the sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Transfer mixture to blender and blend until smooth (be careful as mixture is hot). Return to pan and keep warm until ready to use.
7. Prepare salmon for grill by seasoning with salt and pepper and brushing with olive oil. Make sure your grill grates are clean and oiled well to prevent salmon from sticking. Depending on the thickness of your salmon and your grilling temperature, it'll take about 5-10 minutes to grill. You want it still slightly underdone in the center, not cooked through.
Pour 2 tablespoons of sauce onto plate and top with salmon. Garnish with more green onions, and lime zest or finger limes.


  1. thank you, that was legit. next time i am totally doubling up on the hatch chilis tho.

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