~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Monday, January 24, 2011

Basic Red Chile Sauce...great for enchiladas,burritos, tamales,etc,

Basic Red Chile Sauce...great for enchiladas, burritos, tamales, soft tacos, etc,
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.
The "taquitos" can easily be assembled, frozen, and baked later.

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.


M Family said...

You have made this seem so much easier than I was taught by my daughters old Guadalajaran babysitter! It seemed like so many steps at the time, but I must have been over thinking it. Maybe now I will use the dang chili's I have had sitting in my cabinet forever. FYI, they are Guajillo and because I live in an predominately hispanic community they are readily available, want me to send some to you?

Ellie said...

M Family, I know what you mean about chili's sitting in the pantry:) ...and over-complicating the steps to making a pretty basic sauce, I, too am guilty of that .. And yes, my sister said the guajillo chili is THE chili to use....a sweet lady at her local farmer's market mentioned that to her. So glad to hear that you agree as well. So sweet of you to want to send me some...
Funny thing is that I still need to use the rest of the chiies in my pantry:)
It was good to hear from you and thanks for your tip on using the guajillo...
Also, my sister said the stock works a ton better than water...I sort of agree. What do you think?

Mihaela said...

Ellie, this sauce looks so yummy and so easy to make. I'll keep in mind for next time I cook mexican food :)

Pushpa said...

I have seen those chillies,thanks for sharing the chile sauce.

M Family said...

Hiya Ellie, yes, stock tastes best in it, my "teacher" actually used a ton of powdered chicken bouillon in the recipe she taught me. Because of my low sodium diet, I will probably use homemade stock when I make it (or use a no sodium bouillon) again. The flavor tone definitely changes with a stock, no need for a ton of salt too ya know? I know, I totally preach on the salt thing don't I? hehehe

M Family said...

Oh man, I remember I used a half box of unsalted chicken stock for dinner last night, better use it up, sounds like I will be making this chili sauce sooner than I thought! hehehe

Ellie said...

M Family, Glad you have some stock ready:)...hope you try it and like it.
I ended up adjusting the recipe:)...in regards to the amount of salt.
If using stock, I think you can definitely omit the salt...
The original recipe, I think used water...so that's why the salt amount.
By the way, I think a low sodium diet is good for all of us:)...

Thanks so much for your tips... appreciate it. Always love to learn in the process of trying out new recipes.
Take care...

Ellie said...

Mihaela, Pushpa...
Hope you can give the sauce a try...I am thinking you can even cut the recipe in half, if you want. I have frozen it with good results.
The sauce will stain plastic containers...so I use small jars or glass containers to store the sauce.

Jeanne said...

Oh I wish the recipe were printable! I made this a couple of weeks ago and it was luscious. My picky husband was stealing spoons full!