A couple of months ago my husband and I had the opportunity to visit both of our families who actually live in a different state. We often get invited over for dinner... be it either at my husband's side of the family or mine...many times both. But one evening, my sister and brother-in-law invited us over for dinner before we headed back home. I knew she would go above and beyond when preparing the meal. So I wasn't surprised when I entered the house and smelled the delicious aromas coming from the kitchen. She had planned a Mexican dinner for us....and most everything was cooked from scratch! I watched as she placed the dishes on the table and before we sat down, the dinner table was filled to the max. There were some beef enchiladas topped with homemade chile verde cheese sauce and a vibrant red chile sauce. At one end of the table, she had placed some warm and soft corn tortillas... neatly stacked in a tortilla warmer. There were plenty of condiments for making your own soft taco...including a sour cream mango sauce, fresh cilantro, onion, and chipotle hot sauce. And that wasn't all...she included some refried black beans, rice, guacamole and various salsas as well. The meal was incredibly good and memories still linger... In any case, I asked her for the red chile sauce recipe as it sounded much simpler than the one( awesome chile sauce) I had posted some time ago. She gladly gave it to me...
The sauce is a great alternative to store-bought enchilada sauce. But it really comes in handy for all sorts of dishes... from seasoning some beef or chicken for soft tacos, to using it for burritos, tamales, taquitos or even in homemade chili. The sauce is great as is, but you can easily add your own spin to it. Try adding some oregano, garlic or onion... or even varying the types of chiles you use. Add a bit of heat or leave it mild. The recipe is definitely a keeper...made with basic ingredients. The nice thing about it is that you can always store some dried chiles in your pantry and whip up the sauce in no time. I ended up making some quick baked "taquitos" as I had some shredded beef I wanted to use....later on I made some simple beef burritos which I topped with some of the red chile sauce. But feel free to use the sauce however you like. Hope you enjoy...
Note:You can see a list of dried chiles and substitutions here...Dried Chiles
You will need: you will probably get about 4 cups(+/-) of sauce
15 dried mild red chile pods(Guajillo, New Mexico, California or Pasilla chiles)*
4-5 cups stock( or water, though I use homemade chicken stock )
2 TBS oil
2 TBS flour
1 TBS cumin
1 TBS salt( or to taste... do lower(or omit) the amount of salt, if you are using broth)
1 TBS tomato paste( optional...I don't use)
* I used 13 mild California chiles, a Peruvian Aji Panca, and an Ancho, just to vary the flavor....I couldn't find the guajillo, which I preferred.
1. Wash chiles, remove stems( if you want, the seeds as well) and place in a stock pot.
2. Add stock( or water , if using) and bring to boil.
3. Bring to boil, lower heat and cook for about 15 minutes.
4. Let cool and place everything in a blender.
5. Blend till smooth and strain through sieve(I omit the straining).
6. Heat oil in a saucepan and whisk in the flour. Cook on high till flour browns a bit, but do not let it burn.
7. Stir in red chile sauce, cumin, salt and tomato paste(if using).
8. Reduce heat and simmer on low for 5- 10 minutes( you might need to cover the pot, as the sauce can splatter a bit...at least that is what I experienced:)).
Making a few "taquitos" with a bit of the chile sauce: a quick idea, though you can substitute the beef with shredded chicken ...or use the sauce to top off burritos, make tamales, etc.
I had some shredded beef that I cooked in a pressure cooker with some onion, carrots, garlic and spices for about 45 minutes or so. I shredded the meat and placed it in the food processor. I used a few short pulses to process the meat a tiny bit more. I added some chile sauce to some of the meat ... to taste.
I ended up brushing a soft-taco sized tortilla with a bit of olive oil ...and cut it in 4 pieces( since I found that rolling the whole tortilla was a bit too thick). I decided to make some small appetizer-size baked "taquitos" by placing about a tablespoon of seasoned beef on a quarter of a flour tortilla and topping the beef with some queso fresco cheese. I then rolled it up securing the "taquitos"( 2 at a time) with a toothpick. Baked them at 350 or so until golden brown... being careful to watch them, as the edges tend to want to burn. Served it with guacamole. A nice change from the deep-fried versions.
Another simple way of using the red chile sauce is over any burrito...beef, chicken or bean. Add a few tablespoons of sauce, some shredded cheese and heat till cheese is melted. Top with cilantro and white onion ...and for extra heat add a few slices of fresh jalapeno.