Sunday, September 27, 2009

Red Chile Sauce

Be ready for the question when you order at a restaurant in New Mexico..."Red or green?" Take your pick. Or do as I do and say "Christmas." That means the best of both worlds.

I've posted my green chile sauce recipe before. Now it's time for its smoky cousin. This recipe comes from Katharine Kagel, chef of the wonderful Cafe Pasqual's in Santa Fe.

Red Chile Sauce
Makes about 4 cups.

12 ounces dried red New Mexico chiles, rinsed, stemmed and seeded
1 white onion, coarsely chopped
8 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin

Rehydrate the chiles by placing them in a stockpot and covering them with hot tap water. Let them soak until soft and pliable, about 20 minutes. (Open a window or turn on the exhaust fan if the fumes start to get to you...)

When the chiles are hydrated, add all the remaining ingredients to the pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Drain the chiles, reserving the liquid. Working in batches, place the chiles in a blender, filling it about three-fourths full. Add about 1/2 cup of the reserved liquid and blend the contents to a thick catsup like consistency.

When the sauce is thoroughly blended, pass it through a fine mesh strainer. The finished sauce will be smooth and thick. Repeat until all the chile mixture has been used. Season to taste with salt.

Store the sauce in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can freeze it for up to 2 months.

It's smoky sweet and delicious. great on enchiladas, grilled chicken, roast pork, and... Try it and see.

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