Tuesday, February 28, 2012

red or green? and a recipe for southwestern red chile sauce

ok...i keep getting emails asking me where are all the stories from taos?  i know you guys are wondering what i have been doing. well, bluntly?  eating.  and eating.  and eating.

i love hot and spicy food, so taos is one of the most perfect places in the world for me.  there are so many amazing restaurants in this tiny town with a population of 5000...truly the most per square foot of any town any where.  my favorite type?  southwestern.

if you are not familiar with southwestern food, imagine mexican cuisine with different chiles...pinto beans instead of refried...and posole (hominy) instead of rice.  of course there are many other differences but, for the next few posts, i am going to focus on chiles.  so back to my question...red or green?

you are always asked that question in southwestern restaurants...meaning, "do you want the delicious item you just ordered covered in red or green chile sauce?  it is so hard to pick...most people order their food "christmas style", meaning you would like both.  chiles and chile sauces are the foundation of southwestern food and, i must admit, i am addicted.  my goal for this taos visit is to master chile sauces...and to find the best local resources for the ingredients needed....i want to be able to make these dishes even when i am not in new mexico.

today i am starting with red chile sauce.  i had a lot of help with this recipe....the chefs/cooks from many restaurants here gave me tips and advice.  special thanks to ricky of ricky's restaurant for the chile resource.  he shared with me his "secret" source for red chiles...told me to tell them i want the "chile ricky buys".  how cool is that?  this source is not available online but, for a delicious substitute, try this one.   the most important rule is you must use pure new mexican ground chile...this is not the time to use one of those commercial chili powder blends...the taste is completely different. use this sauce on enchiladas, smothered burritos, tamales, eggs, pork, chilaquiles, nachos...you will find many uses for this delicious sauce.

red chile sauce
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp flour
2 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup pure new mexican ground red chile powder, medium
1 1/2 tsp dried mexican oregano
1/2- 1 tsp chile caribe (caribe is crushed red pepper, seeds and all.  this one is hot so start with 1/2 tsp.  taste and add more if you like your sauce really spicy)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
add the oil to a medium saucepan and heat until gently shimmering.  add the onions and sauté until they are translucent (do not let brown).  add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. stir in the salt. add 1 tbsp flour and stir until flour is incorporated into the oil ensuring all lumps are dissolved.  repeat with second tbsp. of flour and sauté for 1 minute.  add the water and the chile powder and stir until combined.  add the oregano, chile caribe and cumin and bring to a boil.  reduce heat and simmer (low) for 30 minutes. taste and correct seasonings if necessary


1 comment:

Vickie said...

Diane, The red sauce looks and sounds delicious. It sounds like you are enjoying your time in New Mexico!