Ancho Chili Sauce for Pork Chops and Salmon

September 1, 2010 at 11:23 pm | Posted in pork, Vegetables | 21 Comments
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This was a great little meal with the star being this sweet and earthy ancho chili sauce.  A sauce that worked beautifully over both pork chops and grilled salmon.

First let’s talk about that relleno. An idea so simple that when I looked at the photo in Bon Appetit I said “why didn’t I think of that”? A poblano pepper stuffed with cheddar cheese smashed potatoes. Ridiculously simple and a great idea. 

Let’s get started.

For the poblano peppers: Grill or broil the peppers until charred. Place in a plastic bag for about ten minutes. Remove and peel the peppers.  Meanwhile boil some new little red potatoes until tender. Smash them with a drizzle of cream, salt and pepper and lots of grated cheddar cheese. Make a slit in the chilis and oh so gently stuff the peppers with the potatoes.

For the Ancho Chili Sauce: In a saucepan add 1/2 cup of orange juice, 1 cup of chicken broth, 5 teaspoons of good quality ancho chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until the sauce is thickened and cooked down a bit to intensify flavor.  Slather over your grilled pork chops.

For the Pork Chops:  I have cooked up my fair share of dry chewy pork chops in my lifetime. Frustrating. I finally found that a thin cut center loin chop has been my “pork chops for dummies” savior. About two minutes per side on the grill and voila….a thin piece of meat full of juicy flavor. It’s a relief to no longer shy away from pork chop dishes.

For the corn on the cob:  In a casserole pan pour one can of coconut milk. Add salt and pepper and a good sprinkling of ancho chili powder. Add the fresh corn and marinate for at least six hours, turning once every hour to coat the corn. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes.

The ancho chili sauce turned out to be a delicious compliment for the pork chop. The cheddar cheese potato chili relleno was a natural combination of yumminess. I’m a purist when it comes to fresh corn on the cob. Even though this was delicious, I found myself wishing for the simple cob slathered in butter, salt and pepper.

We thought the leftover ancho sauce worked just as well the next evening over grilled salmon. Served along side bruschetta, a fresh vinaigrette drenched tossed salad and no-frills corn on the cob. 

Ancho Chili Sauce Over Grilled Meats…

It’s What’s For Dinner.



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  1. That sauce looks absolutely wonderful… and so easy too! I don’t have a menu planned for next week, but this is SO going to be a part of it!

  2. I am going to try this ancho chili sauce! I just bought some ancho chili powder at Whole Foods. Everything sounds great!

    • Stephanie, I really liked how it turned out. The orange juice and honey add a nice sweetness. I probably used about a T. of honey.

  3. Yum, yum, and more YUM! I love anchos…this sounds amazing. And yeah…I love the idea of using taters & cheese as the relleno stuffing…so simple it’s genius! And, um, what did u do…that comment-thingy I just raved about from the reader is no longer there 😦 …it’s like the Twilight zone 😉

    • It is the twilight zone. I didn’t change a thing. 🙂

  4. That relleno sounds awesome! I’m totally having a why didn’t I think of that moment as well.

    Mmm smoky ancho chile. Makes everything better.

  5. Love the ancho chili sauce recipe – a sweet sauce over grilled meat is such a great combo. I grew Anaheim peppers this year for rellanos, and I’m going to have try this version. I never would have thought of stuffing them with potato and cheese – what a great idea. Your photos are primo – the finished plates are beautiful and made me hungry to try everything!

    • I like anaheims and also Hatch chilis for Rellanos…but I’m so partial to pablanos. I like the flavor and they’re much easier to stuff. Thanks for the compliments on my photos Vickie.

  6. I will have to take the recipe for the sauce with me. Sounds very yummy.Pork Chops and lots of salmon in the freezer.
    Hope you like your new work!

  7. mmmmm, chiles! I’m drooling here!

  8. What great meals. I like the creativity with the stuffed pepper and the sauce will be made here soon. Growing up, we rarely if ever had sauced meat, except for pan gravy and it’s hard for me to remember to consider them, especially for grilled meats. Thanks for the reminder.

    • I agree Larry. I grew up in a home of non-sauced meats. Maybe some beef gravy slathered over Sunday pot roast was the closest we came.

  9. oh, man. would it be o.k. to just have that ancho sauce as soup?

    • hmmmmm, I think you just gave me an idea for a nice base for some shredded pork soup. Afterall, there was a chill in the air this morning. 🙂

  10. I’ve long considered myself primarily a fan of Italian cuisine and love anything with pasta, a sauce and a sprinkle of cheese. But I have to say…I’ve been wondering lately if I shouldn’t change Vino Luci to El Vino La Luz!

    I just melt at the word ancho and for someone who still professes a profound dislike for green peppers, the mention of poblano, serrano and jalapeno have me salivating!

    If you haven’t yet, you need to add my cilantro rice dish to your repertoire, I know you will LOVE it.

    Yum for all the above (although I’m with you on corn).

  11. That’s a great meal. I really like the relleno and ancho chili sauce. I am sure the sauce will be good on chicken too.

    • Totally agree Biren. Would be great on Chicken.

  12. This sauce is inspired!!! I’ll be making it next week to slather over pork loin. Yum!

  13. I’m going to try that coconut milk soaking with my corn, Lea Ann.
    And after looking at that plate of goodies, I am wondering why I don’t cook pork more often!

  14. You’re right – the potatoes in the chile is ridiculously simple and why didn’t I think of that?? LOL Sounds like a great meal all around. Could you taste the coconut on the corn? It doesn’t seem to me that the corn would absorb it. I have coconut milk in the pantry and corn that needs to be grilled tonight… think I’ll give it a try!

  15. Wow–Ancho chili sauce sounds so good!

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