Mark's red chile sauce

Yield: 1 Servings

Measure Ingredient
4 ounces Whole dried NM red chiles
2 ounces Whole dried ancho chiles
2 ounces Whole dried cascabel chiles (if you don't have these, use more of the other two)
2 \N Whole dried chipotle chiles or chipotles in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon Adobo sauce
2 quarts Water
1 pounds Roma tomatoes
½ cup Chopped onion
1 tablespoon Olive oil
5 larges Cloves garlic; roasted, peeled, and finely chopped
1 teaspoon Roasted ground cumin (the toaster oven or broiler is good, but pay attention, this stuff burns only when your back is turned!)
1½ teaspoon Roasted ground Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon Salt
2 tablespoons Peanut oil or (gag!) lard

I've also made several sauces that were in Mark Miller's _The Great Chile Book_ and Rick Bayless's _Mexican Kitchen_ (mucho disclaimers), and at the risk of some sore fingers, I'll type one up. It's pretty much verbatim except for my comments in parentheses. Here goes: Remove stems and seeds from chiles. Roast and rehydrate the chiles. (A good variation is to collect the seeds and roast them in the dry skillet that roasts the chiles. After they're brown and toasty, grind them up in a coffee grinder and add the powder later to the sauce. After the seeds are out, spread each chile flat on a dry skillet over medium heat. Mash it really flat with a good spatula so that it crackles for a few seconds, then flip it over and do the same for the other side. I do one at a time in the pan. Don't burn them or they'll be bitter. Boil the water, remove the water from the heat and dunk all the chiles - I use just enough to cover them - 2 qts water is overkill, and weigh them down with a plate. Let 'em soak for about 30 mins.) (Back to copying) Blacken the tomatoes in a skillet or under a broiler - about 5 minutes.

Saute the onion in the olive oil over low heat until (just) browned. Put chiles in a blender (food processor) and add the blackened tomatoes, onion, garlic, cumin oregano, and salt. Add 1 cup of the reserved (chile-soak) liquid (if it's not bitter, else use some water or chicken stock). Puree all this to a fine smooth paste, adding more chile water, water, or chicken stock as necessary.

(OK, stop, time out! When I make any of these rehydrate-the-chile-sauces, I _know_ that I can't get the chile skins chopped smoothly enough to where they won't find hideouts in my teeth. So, I put them with their soaking juice (when I'm not sipping the stuff - ooooh, is that good!) into the blender first. After it's all blended, I push the mash through a medium sized sieve, so that the skin bits and any old hard seeds stay out of the sauce. Now, add the other stuff and carry on.) Add oil or lard to a high-sided pan (I use a dutch oven, because of the spatter factor), and heat the oil until almost smoking. (Pouring all the sauce in at once, preferably from a sauce pan with a good handle) Refry sauce at a sizzle for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring continuously. Do not allow sauce to get too thick (It's ready when it wants to coat a spoon): add water as necessary. Sauce can be kept for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

(End of copy)

This sauce is very good and tasty. If you're loaded down with dried NM chiles, this is a good place to start. There's lots more to try and if you don't have the books, I'll be glad to occasionally post one. Enough bandwidth guzzling for now. Good luck! Posted to CHILE-HEADS DIGEST V4 #153 by sto_tolin@... on Oct 08, 1997

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