Salsa de Chile Rojo. This is based on a recipe from Sunset's Mexican Cook Book. Sunset recommends mild dried chiles, ones that are large and dusky-red. Use as an enchilada sauce.
- 6 ounces whole dried chilies (ancho, pasilla, or California green chiles, about 10 to 12 chiles, in any combination)
- 3 cups hot water
- 1⁄4 cup tomato sauce (or tomato paste)
- 1 small garlic clove, minced (or pressed)
- 1⁄4 cup salad oil
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon oregano leaves, crumbled
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place chiles on a baking sheet. Toast lightly in oven, 3 or 4 minutes, until they give off a mild aroma. Do not burn, otherwise, chiles will be very bitter.
- Remove chiles from oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.
- Remove and discard stems, seeds, and any pink pithy materials.
- Rinse chiles in cool water, drain briefly, then cover with hot water and soak for an hour.
- Process chiles in blender with enough of the soaking water to obtain a nice, blended consistency.
- Add remaining water, tomato sauce, garlic, oil, salt, oregano, and cumin. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for later use.