Red Chile Sauce

One of my favorite Latin foods is enchiladas.

Up until now, most of my experience has been with beef enchiladas that incorporate a lot of cheese, a tortilla and a generous helping of enchilada sauce straight from the can. So, it only seemed natural that to make my own enchiladas, I would try to re-create that red chili sauce from scratch.

Now, I can’t lie. When I first thought about making the sauce, I was super intimidated. For one thing, there seems to be more variations of what I consider “enchilada sauce” than one could humanly imagine. Who knows which one you’re supposed to pick? Who knows which one is the real thing?

After doing some research, I decided to go for the one that sounded a.) the most authentic and b.) the easiest. I did this with the intention of knowing that I would be making a green chili sauce as well and so I tried the shortcut as much as possible in terms of saving time by doing everything together. Because of that, this recipe turned out to be the easiest for me. It also delivers a ton of flavor. I was initially concerned that the red chili peppers would be way too strong for my delicate palate, but the Anaheim chiles I used were relatively mild. Plus. with the tomatoes and onions and garlic, the chili provides more of a “pepper” flavor and less of a “burning hot ouchness”. Honestly, that’s exactly how I like my peppers to taste.

So without further ado, this is my version of a red chile sauce for enchiladas!

Red Chile Sauce

6-8 Roma tomatoes

2 Anaheim chiles

1 red onion

1 clove of garlic

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven 350F.

Place tomatoes, chiles, onion and garlic on a baking sheet. Place in oven for 20-25 minutes. Keep an eye on the garlic as it is the smallest and may need to be pulled from the oven prematurely. I pulled the garlic once it started to brown on top.

Remove the vegetables from the oven and put into a food processor. Add the spices and seasoning. Blend until smooth.


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