Do you want to keep up
with all the Rancho Gordo news?
Chile is such a regional and personal thing! I normally cook more Mexican than Southwestern but I really love it all. The following comes from The Feast of Santa Fe, an excellent book on New Mexican cooking.
A customer from New Mexico writes: "I'm
a native New Mexican with generations of cooks in my background. For the
most part the recipes in Feast of Santa Fe are excellent. However, we
never, ever put flour in chile colorado. If the sauce is thin, add more
chile. Also chili is from the Indian sub-continent, chile is the new world
food." Sounds good to me. The flour thing has always made me
uneasy anyway. I think Chili is a losing battle. From what I can tell,
stateside, chiles are the vegetable and chili is the dish/stew. But do
as you like, just keep eating!
taken from the book The Feast of Santa Fe by Huntley Dent (1993 Fireside Books)
For about 2 cups:
Heat the oil over medium heat in a 1- or 2-quart saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté gently for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is wilted, translucent and turning yellow. Stir in the oregano, cumin and flour and cook, stirring constantly, until this mixture (which is like a roux) bubbles up and begins to turn a very light brown, about 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
In a separate bowl, mix the
powdered chilies and water until they are
Your finished red chili should be thick enough to nap a spoon heavily; it should have a deep, pungent taste of chili without unpleasant mustiness (a sign of tired chilies) or unpalatable hotness. If it is too bitter or crude for your taste, try other brands of powdered chilies. However, this sauce should not be expected to stand alone. Even if somewhat bitter or sweet, the real test for chile colorado is to marry it with tortillas, so plan as soon as possible to make a batch of enchiladas with your sauce. You are likely to be surprised, or even amazed, by how much better your red chili is than those served in restaurants.
For a smoother sauce, or if the sauce appears too grainy (a function of the coarseness of the ground chilies), puree the sauce, one cup at a time, in an electric blender. A grainy texture, however, is acceptable and proves that you didn't open a can.
Red chili mellows as it stands and keeps well for a week or more in the refrigerator. Plastic wrap can be pressed directly against the surface to prevent a skin from forming, but this is not mandatory since the skin can be stirred back into the sauce when you reheat it. Be sure to cover the container tightly, though, since the red chili smell permeates other foods nearby. Also, make sure your cooking utensils and storage containers are made of impermeable glass or metal-red chili is notorious for stains. To remove any that slip by you, see the note on p. 69.
Hot Red Chili Sauce: The basic
recipe produces a lingering heat at the back of the mouth but not much
on the tongue. If you want a hotter sauce, taste it after it thickens,
then incorporate cayenne or ground hot chilies (such as tepins pequins
or Japanese chilies) to taste. If you attempt to add these in powdered
form directly to your sauce, it is likely that lumps will form, so first
dissolve them in a few tablespoons of water. In fact, if you are cooking
an entire New Mexico dinner, it is good to have a teacup by your side
Red Chili Sauce with Tomatoes: This mild, faintly sweet version is frankly preferred by most non-Hispanic diners. It is the one many restaurants set out as a matter of course, often considerably thinned if it is to be used as a dipping sauce for tostado chips. Add ½ cup tomato puree (or 4 to 5 canned tomatoes reduced to a puree in a blender) to the basic sauce at the same time as the chilies and water go in. For a thinner sauce, suitable for the table as well as for cooking, use 1 to 1½ cups tomato juice instead of tomato puree.
Sweet-and-Sour Red Chili Sauce:
Although its taste is not appropriate for every dish (it does not go well
with enchiladas, for example), the
Red Chili Sauce with Broth: In the more refined styles of Mexican cooking, the liquid used in salsa de chile rojo is beef or chicken broth instead of water. Thus refined, the chili can go on the table to serve with roast turkey or capon on feast days. It also makes a good braising liquid for pork shoulder, but watch carefully for scorching, adding extra water to the braising pan as needed. Any red chili used for pot-roasting cuts of beef or pork (such dishes are called carne adovada in New Mexico) needs to be thoroughly degreased before bringing it to the table.
Red Chili Sauce with Cream: This might seem like
putting chiffon on a
1924 YAJOME ST, NAPA CA 94559
All Contents ©2003-2010 Rancho Gordo. Inc. All rights reserved. Inauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.