Appetizer Tex-Mex

Green chile creamy avocado salsa

Green chile creamy avocado salsa | Homesick Texan

The first time I had the creamy green salsa found on many Houston Tex-Mex tables, it was an eye-opener. It was cool, creamy, and bright with just a hint of spice. I was in love and it became my favorite thing about the whole dining-out experience in Houston.

Mama Ninfa Laurenzo of Ninfa’s fame was the one who popularized this style, as she was among the first to make this salsa a common accompaniment to chips along with the usual red. Her recipe has been published many places, and in the early days of this site I ran the one that had been in the Houston Chronicle.

Now, her version calls for sour cream, though along the border and in Mexico, Mexican crema would be more common. For years, I made it this way and was pleased. A few years ago, however, I came across an avocado salsa that had all the tang and spice of hers, yet it was dairy free. I published a recipe for this in my first cookbook, and while sometimes I go back to the sour cream version, more and more I prefer to make it without.

Green chile creamy avocado salsa | Homesick Texan

This style of creamy avocado salsa is a popular condiment to tacos, flautas, and steak in Northern Mexico and along the border. A healthy handful of tomatillos is mixed with avocado, cilantro, garlic, and chiles to form a silky blend. This allows the avocado to go further than it would in guacamole, which makes for a cost effective yet tasty sauce.

You see it all over the Rio Grande Valley, where Laurenzo was from, so it makes sense that she would offer it at her restaurants. The sour cream was probably added to make the ingredients stretch further, but even without sour cream it’s still smooth, and if you’re working on a small scale, not using it makes for a more intensely flavored dish.

The chiles in creamy avocado salsa are usually small piquant ones such as serrano or jalapeños. But since chiles are now in season and long green chiles, which are found under the name Hatch, Anaheim, or New Mexican, are available in abundance I thought it would be fun to try it with those instead.

Typically, you boil the tomatillos, but since I was roasting my long green chiles to remove the tough skin, I added my tomatillos to my skillet, as well. After the tomatillos were darkened and the chiles had been peeled, I then pureed them in a blender along with an avocado, garlic, lime juice, and a healthy handful of cilantro.

Green chile creamy avocado salsa | Homesick Texan

The result was creamy and good, with an added depth from the roasting of the chiles and tomatillos. While I had been concerned that the blackened skins from the tomatillos might affect the salsa’s color, it turned out as vibrant and green as always. While it wasn’t as fiery as it would be if made with serranos, my long green chiles were hot enough to make this batch plenty sharp. Most importantly, however, is that this green chile creamy avocado salsa is still a much beloved and familiar friend.

Green chile creamy avocado salsa | Homesick Texan
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Green chile creamy avocado salsa

Author Lisa Fain

Ingredients

  • 2 long green chiles such as Hatch or Anaheim
  • 1/2 pound tomatillos, husked
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut in half
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • ¼ cup water
  • Salt

Instructions

  1. Roast the chiles and tomatillos under the broiler until blackened on both sides, about 10-12 minutes, turning once. Once blackened, place the chiles in a paper sack or plastic food-storage bag, close it tight and let the chiles steam for 20 minutes. Place the tomatillos in a blender.


  2. After the chiles have steamed, remove from the bag and rub off the skin. Remove the stems and seeds from both the chiles and add to the blender.


  3. Add the avocado, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and water to the blender. Puree until smooth, then add salt to taste (I usually start with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt). If too thick, feel free to thin it with more water.


  4. Will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days.


  1. HOLY COW this looks AMAZING!!! and since they're roasting hatch chilies at central market might as well make this weekend! thanks for the recipe!! ~lisa

  2. Lisa–You're welcome. Enjoy!

  3. Can't wait to try. I used to be in a partnership with Ninfa in McAllen and loved her Green Chili Salsa and really miss it!!! Thanks so much for the memories, again! Debbie Sherrill Courtney

  4. Debbie–What a cool story! Have fun with the salsa and may it bring back good memories!

  5. Looks delicious! It's a must try, thanks!

  6. Pam–I have to warn you–it's very addictive!

  7. Anonymous

    Just wanted to let you that your Black-Eye Pea & Hominy casserole is now a regular – I just love it! I add fresh corn instead of the 2nd can of hominy. Instead of baking the whole thing, I freeze portions unbaked for whenever I get the taste – fabulous!! Kath the Cook

  8. Anonymous

    Tried this super easy salsa last night and it was so tasty. We poured it over tamales and some baked stuffed tomatoes that were leftovers. Then we got out the chips and had some more. Thanks for sharing this treat.
    Carol

  9. Carol–So glad it was a hit! I've never had it over tamales but will definitely be doing that soon!

  10. Scarletttexas

    Thank-you for this recipe! A restaurant that went out of business used to have this salsa and i have missed it so much! Now I can make my own.

  11. Kath the Cook–So glad you enjoy it!

  12. Scarletttexas–Yes you can! Hope it reminds you of your favorite.

  13. Anonymous

    This reminds me of Pio Pio's green sauce in NYC!

  14. Anonymous

    You don't peel the char off of the tomatillos?

  15. Anon–No, I don't, as I like the flavor but feel free to do so if you wish!

  16. Amy in Hunting Valley, OH

    I realize I’m late to the party .. but I finally made this tonight and it was so good! I used two banana peppers which were the best looking options at the store. I do think it would taste even better with Hatch chiles or Serranos. It’s about ten degrees here in NE Ohio and this salsa warmed up our tacos wonderfully. Thanks for the recipe Lisa, and for your blog. You write with such warmth and authenticity. Wishing you all the best in 2018.

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