A mother-daughter conversation on food and cooking (mostly)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Red Chile Sauce

Living way out here in South Carolina, I have profound and regular cravings for New Mexican enchiladas.

I don't think I've ever posted the family red chile sauce recipe here. If you believe James Peyton, this is pretty close to the standard New Mexican recipe. My version is slightly modified from the version you wrote down for me years ago, Mom. A tiny bit of cinnamon and nutmeg seem to warm up the sauce without overpowering the main flavors...but I picked that idea up from a Guatemalan guy who ran a Veracruzana restaurant, so who knows what's really authentic.

Place in saucepan and cover with water:

- 12-18 dried red New Mexican chiles, destemmed and deseeded

Bring to simmer, cover, turn off heat, and let sit 30 minutes or until chiles are soft and pliable. Put chiles and 1 cup of soaking liquid in blender, and process until very smooth.

Make a roux by combining over medium-high heat:

- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons flour

Stir until light brown and nutty. Turn down heat and add the chile puree all at once; stir very quickly to incorporate without spattering or lumps. Then add:

- Several cups chicken or vegetable stock
- More soaking liquid if it needs more heat -- depends on the chiles
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Simmer for at least 15 minutes.

Easy New Mexican enchiladas consist of red chile sauce, cheese, chopped green or white onions, corn tortillas, and sometimes sour cream. I like them stacked, not rolled, and topped with fried eggs. I miss the Southwest.

1 comment:

Kris said...

I would rather read a recipe for red chile sauce than a poem any day.