This recipe is a combination of ideas, ingredients, and proportions from three separate Mexican cookbooks, all claiming to be authentic! I played around with it until I got the flavor that I remember from Tucson. It really will taste like you are south of the border! (DO NOT wait too long to make your sauce after purchasing the dried chiles, as they will become so hard your will need a nutcracker to break them open and they lose much of their flavor. If you want additional heat, add some cayenne pepper or Tabasco Sauce; but remember, though, that the authentic enchilada sauce is not very hot. Make this ahead and store tightly sealed in the fridge.
Heat Scale = Mild
Yields about 2 quarts
Prep.Time about 1 hour
12 dried Ancho Chiles
6 dried Pasilla Chiles
10 cups Boiling Water
3 cloves Garlic -- chopped
1 can Tomato Sauce (15-oz.)
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Chili Powder Blend
1 1/2 teaspoons dried Oregano
1 teaspoon ground Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Salt
Break chile pods open; remove stems and seeds. Place chiles in a large bowl; pour boiling water over all and let stand 1 hour, stirring occasionally to keep chiles covered with water.
Remove chiles, reserving soaking liquid, and place softened chiles into a blender or food processor, removing the pieces by hand being careful not to include any occasional seeds. Add about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the soaking liquid; pulse until mixture is thick and mushy. Add remaining ingredients; stir gently. Begin adding soaking liquid, 1 cup at a time, pulsing after each addition until mixture is smooth and shiny (this may use almost all of the soaking liquid). Mixture should not be too thick but should be thick enough to run slowly off a tablespoon. (If all the liquid needed does not fit in the blender container, continue to thin the mixture to the desired consistency in the next step.)
Place mixture into a large non-stick saucepan and bring slowly to a simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally. Do not boil, but simmer uncovered over medium-low heat about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Allow mixture to cool in the pan about 1 hour; ladle into plastic containers or sterilized canning jars and refrigerate until ready to use. Sauce may be used immediately, stored in the refrigerator for several weeks, or frozen 3-4 months. Yields about 2 quarts.

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Copyright 2001 Carol Stevens, Shaboom's Kitchen, All Rights Reserved