Thursday, June 20, 2013

New Mexico Red Sauce and Enchilada Recipe

This is the one my Mama taught me. She grew up in southern New Mexico in the 1920's and was taught the traditional recipe by her Hispanic neighbors. Notice there is NO tomato juice. That is mostly a gringo thingo.


(for enchiladas, huevos rancheros, etc)

12 dried chile pods  
 2 1/2 cups water
2 to 3 tbs corn oil or lard
1 to 2 tbs flour (optional)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp crushed cumin
cool water
 salt to taste ( at least 1 tsp)              

1) remove stems, seeds and veins from the chile

2) bring the chile pods in the water to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for at least 12 minutes (covered). (I usually break into pieces and let them rehydrate for an hour or two after turning the stove off)

3) mash chile through a wire sieve to remove the bitter skin from the chile meat (you can put in a blender for a few spins to chop up the chili first, or use pieces during the boiling process, rather than the whole chili)

4) add the spices

 5) Fry the chile sauce (remember that the chili pulp is raw at this stage):

          a) heat the oil or lard so it is hot

b) add the mashed rehydrated chilie and cook for two to three minutes.

 6) reduce heat to medium low and slowly add about half a cup more water with the flour dissolved in it,

7) cook to allow the sauce to thicken

 8) add water (or tomato juice) until the sauce is to your desired thickness.

(a little can go a long way, especially hotter chile)



1) if you use cornstarch, use half the ‘flour’ measure

2) The sauce freezes well. Use within six weeks for best flavor

3) avoid inhaling the steam during rehydration. Wash hands after handling Chile, it can irritate your eyes and nose. I wear disposable vinyl gloves whenever handling the chile. 

A great way to use this sauce is:


(four servings)

1 dozen corn tortillas
2 cups red chili sauce

2 cups grated sharp cheese
4 to 8 eggs

1/2 cup chopped onion
lard or corn oil


1) fry the tortillas until soft. Don’t make them crisp!! You only need a little hot fat, don't deep fry.

2) quickly dip tortilla in red sauce covering both sides

3) put on plate and add a layer of cheese and onion (if you really must, you can add shredded beef or chicken, but it takes away from the wonderful chili flavor)

4) layer until you have used 3 tortillas on each plate

5) add a generous spoonful of red sauce to the top of the stack

6) place a sunny-side-up or over-easy fried egg (or two) on top of each stack.
Serve and enjoy!
(a small scoop of traditional guacamole is great with this. That recipe will be here soon!)

Enchilada photo from West Vista Urban Farm School website

Recipe is from my Mama!

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