Chipotle red sauce

Yield: 1 Servings

Measure Ingredient
5.00 \N Dried chipotle chiles; (see note)
2.00 \N Dried new mexico red chiles
1.00 \N Dried ancho chile
6.00 \N Cloves garlic; unpeeled
1½ cup Water OR chile water; (see below)
¾ teaspoon Salt
6.00 tablespoon Cider vinegar
1.00 teaspoon Unsweetened cocoa
2.00 tablespoon Dark brown sugar
¼ teaspoon Ground cumin
1.00 cup Fresh orange juice
¼ teaspoon Ground cloves
½ teaspoon Ground cayenne

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Stem and slit all the dried chiles, removing half the seeds. (For a milder sauce, remove all the seeds.) Roast the chiles in the oven just until you smell them, about 3 minutes maximum. Submerge them in a pot of hot water and soak until softened, about 20 minutes. While the chiles are soaking, turn oven up to 500 degrees. Roast the garlic on a baking sheet for 20 minutes, then peel.

Taste the chile water. If it's not bitter, use it instead of water.

Combine the chiles, garlic chile water, salt, vinegar, cocoa, sugar, cumin, orange juice, cloves, and ¼ teaspoon cayenne in blender and puree. Taste, and add an additional ¼ teaspoon cayenne if greater heat is desired. Pour into sterilized bottle and seal. Refrigerated, the sauce will keep approximately 8 weeks. Makes 3 cups.

Note: You may substitute canned chipotles in adobo, which will make roasting and soaking unnecessary. Lift the chipotles from the sauce, but don't rinse, as the adobo adds flavor.

The cocoa--borrowed from Mexican mole sauces--doesn't sweeten the sauce; rather, it adds a mellowness that, combined with the orange juice, takes the sometimes bitter edge off the dried chiles.

This sauce has great range: it is "big" enough to be used as a marinade for grilled meats and is also a fine steak sauce that's not too sweet. Not particularly searing, it is also a wonderful dipping accompaniment to grilled chicken and fish. My favorite dish for this sauce, however, is Fajitas , where the onions, peppers, steak, and warm tortillas come alive with the smokey chipotles.

Hot Licks by Jennifer Trainer Thompson, Chronicle Books,1994; ISBN: 8-8118-0575-1

Recipe by: Jennifer Trainer Thompson_Hot Licks_1994 Posted to recipelu-digest by Badams <adamsfmle@...> on Feb 20, 1998

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