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Mexican Red Chile Sauce

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“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.”
2hrs 20mins
3 1/2 cups

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 6 ounces whole dried chilies (ancho, pasilla, or California green chiles, about 10 to 12 chiles, in any combination)
  • 3 cups hot water
  • 14 cup tomato sauce (or tomato paste)
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced (or pressed)
  • 14 cup salad oil
  • 1 12 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon oregano leaves, crumbled
  • 14 teaspoon ground cumin


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. 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.
  3. Remove chiles from oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.
  4. Remove and discard stems, seeds, and any pink pithy materials.
  5. Rinse chiles in cool water, drain briefly, then cover with hot water and soak for an hour.
  6. Process chiles in blender with enough of the soaking water to obtain a nice, blended consistency.
  7. Add remaining water, tomato sauce, garlic, oil, salt, oregano, and cumin. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for later use.

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