Saturday, February 18, 2006

Three Mexican sauces

This post contains the sauces referred to in my recent tortilla casserole post. With slight adjustments in consistency and seasoning, they each could also be a sauce for enchiladas, eggs with tortillas and garnishes, or chilaquiles (crisp tortillas, cheese and other items doused in sauce). The last sauce could be an excellent base for a spicy vegetable-noodle soup.


Roasted Tomatillo Sauce

Ingredients
2 lb. tomatillos
1/2 onion, chopped
3 serrano chiles
Several unpeeled garlic cloves
Chopped cilantro
Salt to taste

(Unit conversion page)


Method

  1. Pan roast the garlic and chiles in a dry skillet over medium heat for about 10 minutes, turning now and then, until they are soft and blackened in spots. Remove the peel from the garlic, and remove the stem from the chiles, and put them in a blender jar.

  2. Turn on the broiler.

  3. Peel the husks from the tomatillos, wash them, and place them in a shallow baking pan that has sides.

  4. Place tomatillos under the broiler, and cook, turning them once or twice, until softened and blackened. Let them cool for a few minutes, then put in a blender jar with the chiles and garlic.

  5. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, saute the onion in oil until soft, then scrape into the blender jar.

  6. Puree the tomatillo-chile-garlic-onion mixture until smooth, adding water if needed to keep the mixture moving. Use caution if the mixture is still hot.

  7. Return the saucepan to medium-high heat. Add some oil, let it heat up, then carefully pour in the contents of the blender jar---watch out for splattering! Stir the mixture, and turn the heat to medium-low. Let the sauce cook and reduce for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until it is thicker than an average tomato sauce.

  8. Turn off the heat, and pour in a few cups of water or broth to make about 8 cups. Add chopped cilantro and salt to taste (at least 1 teaspoon).



Red Chile - Tomato Sauce

Ingredients
7 dried pasilla or ancho chiles
3 New Mexico chiles
4 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
1 t. oregano
Large can of whole peeled tomatoes (28 oz.)
Salt to taste

Method
  1. Wipe the dust off of the chiles, and remove the stems and most of the seeds. Place the chiles in a bowl, and cover with hot water. Place a plate on top of them to keep them submedged. Let them sit for 30 minutes to rehydrate.

  2. In a small skillet, dry roast the garlic for about 10 minutes over medium heat. Remove from the pan, and let cool. When cool, remove the peel. Put the garlic cloves in a blender jar.

  3. Pull the chiles out of the water, and put them into the blender jar.

  4. Blend the garlic, chile mixture until smooth, adding the juice from the can of tomatoes if needed to keep the blades running.

  5. Push the chile mixture through a strainer into a bowl.

  6. Heat some vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, pour in the strained chile mixture, being careful to avoid any splatters. Cook the puree, stirring frequently, until it is the thickness of tomato sauce.

  7. While the chile puree is cooking, puree the tomatoes in the blender jar, then pour the puree into the saucepan. Cook for a few more minutes. Add enough water to make 8 cups. Salt to taste.




Red Chile - Tomato Sauce

Ingredients
4 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
A few chipotle chiles from a can
2 large cans of whole peeled tomatoes (28 oz. each)
1 onion, minced

Method

  1. In a small skillet, dry roast the garlic for about 10 minutes over medium heat. Remove from the pan, and let cool. When cool, remove the peel. Put the garlic cloves in a blender jar.

  2. Put the chiles and tomatoes into the blender jar (it might take 2 batches). Blend until smooth.

  3. In a medium saucepan, heat some oil over medium heat. Cook the onion until soft, then pour in the tomato-chile puree. Cook for a few minutes. Add enough water to make 8 cups.

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