Making your own isn't all that difficult. Time consuming and sinus
clearing, but not difficult.
Don't have a recipe (when you're around here long enough, you'll know
that I almost NEVER have a recipe), but I can tell you how to make it.
Start with about 6 dried ancho chiles, 6 dried pasilla chiles.
Place the chiles on a flat baking sheet and roast in a preheated 350
degree oven until the chiles become fragrant (about 15 minutes). Do
not allow them to scorch. NOTE: You might want to open all the
windows while doing this, the fumes will definitely clear your
Remove the chiles from the oven and cool slightly. Slit open and
remove the stems, seeds and veins. Place the remainder in a bowl, and
cover with boiling water. Allow to sit for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a can of chicken broth, to which you have added a
small minced onion, 1-2 cloves of minced garlic, and a generous pinch
of Mexican oregano and cumin.
Simmer until the onion and garlic is very soft.
Meanwhile, remove the chiles from the liquid, and force through a fine
sieve. Do not yield to temptation and whirl this mixture through a
blender. The chile peels tend to be bitter, and will transfer this
bitterness to the sauce. Discard the peels, and any remaining seeds,
but be sure to force all the chile pulp through the sieve. Scrape the
chile puree (called a caribe) into the chicken broth mixture.
Pour this mixture into a blender or food processor and process until
smooth. Return to the pan, and simmer, adjusting seasonings (it may
need more cumin, will need salt) to taste. If the mixture isn't hot
enough for your taste, add pure ground chile peppers and/or hot sauce
Continue simmering over low heat (careful, it scorches like crazy),
stirring frequently, until the mixture is thick enough to coat a
For a quickie version of this, you can always opt for the classic Tex-
Mex Chili Gravy. Melt 2 tbsp. of lard in a frying pan, and add 2
tbsp. of flour, and as much chili powder (the stuff that contains
ground chiles, cumin, oregano, sometimes salt, and God-knows-what-
else) as your conscience allows (1/4 cup is a good starting point.)
Cook the flour/fat/chile mixture until a thick paste forms. Do not
allow it to brown. Now wisk in enough chicken broth to make a
Personally, I think this results in an enchilada sauce that tastes
remarkably like the enchiladas in frozen TV dinners, but some folks