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Enchilada Sauce
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    Enchilada Sauce

  • 8 dried California chiles*
  • Water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Makes about 2-1/3 cups

    *For a hotter sauce, substitute 2 or 3 New Mexico chiles in place of 2 or 3 of the California chiles.

    Wash chiles thoroughly. Place in a large saucepan and cover generously with water. Cover and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand 45 minutes or until softened. Drain chiles, reserving soaking liquid. Pull off stems, slit chiles open and rinse off seeds.

    Place chiles and 1 cup soaking liquid in blender or food processor. Process until pureed. Turn into a sieve and rub through sieve into bowl to eliminate small bits of peel. Rinse blender with an additional 1 cup soaking liquid and pour over remaining pulp in sieve.

    Heat oil or lard and garlic in a medium saucepan. When oil is fragrant with garlic, discard garlic clove. Stir in flour until mixture is smooth. Cook about 1 minute. Add pureed chile mixture and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cook and stir until slightly thickened. Taste and add more salt if needed.

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