Jun 29, 2012

How to Make a Basic Red Chile Sauce

June 29 --Write a "How To" post

I think I had promised someone to
 post my recipe for making red chile sauce. In New Mexico, we use this on everything, from enchiladas to eggs.

I came from South Texas where red sauce consisted of a can of Hormel Chili. Notice that "chili" and "chile" are two different words with different meanings. They are not interchangeable. Chile refers to the plant that the peppers come from.

Green chile is usually fresh, then roasted in a large rotating basket over a propane burner. You can also roast a few at a time on your grill or even in the oven. Ummm, nothing says fall like the smell of chiles roasting. Many people buy them in 40lb bags. They take them home after they're roasted, sort them into freezer bags and pop them into the freezer. Some people take the time to peel and chop the chiles before freezing them. Not me---too much work for one sitting. I actually get only a few at a time and roast them myself. I also buy them already chopped and frozen.

Red chile comes from the same plant as the green. They've just been left to ripen and dried. You can buy whole, dried chiles in bags to use over the season. People also tie the drying chiles into ristras, a staggered grouping of chiles that hang from the ceiling where they can be accessed throughout the year. These are quite expensive, but people love them to use as decorations, especially tourists. Red chile can also be purchased crushed or powdered.

When we speak of chile-with-an-E powder, it is pure dried red chiles. Chili powder most commonly sold in stores is chile plus other spices such as cominos (cumin), oregano, garlic, and salt. It is often used to make chili con carne (like Hormel or Wolf) with or without beans. Aficionados of Texas chili con carne says beans or tomatoes are not to be included. To my mother, enchiladas are covered with chili con carne. Not here. We top them with the red sauce made from the red chiles.

This recipe is not my own, but it is the one I use. It comes from a little booklet called License to Cook New Mexico Style and is "collected by the members of the New Mexico Federation of Business and Professional Women" from across New Mexico.

Red Chile  Sauce

1 clove garlic, minced
3 TBS olive oil or lard
2 TBS flour
1/2 cup ground red chile
2 cups water
about 1/4 tsp salt

Saute garlic in oil. Blend in flour; add chile powder and blend. (Don't let pan get too hot as chile will burn.) Blend in water and cook to desired consistency. Add salt to taste. Store in refrigerator or freezer.

Disfrute de su comida

Note: all photos are slurped from the internet

1 comment:

  1. I've never thought about roasting chiles but it sure sounds tasty and so does your recipe. Although I'm quite a klutz in the kitchen, this red chile sauce recipe sounds like something I may be able to make =) Thanks for sharing!


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