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Basic Enchilada Sauce

We get the basic Anaheim-type dried chiles at the CSA, which are a great base for enchilada sauce. If you have them around, feel free to supplement or substitute other dried chiles for a more complex flavor.


  • 4-6 dried red chiles, rinsed clean
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar


To re-hydrate chiles, leave them submerged overnight in warm water. You can also pour boiling water over chiles and leave them to re-hydrate for about 45 minutes. Once pliable and moist, remove stem and seeds from each pod and place in a blender, with about ¾ cup of the soaking liquid. Blend well. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and cumin and stir until fragrant. Pour in chile mixture and oregano.

Be CAREFUL, the steam the chiles will release is spicy – don’t lean directly over the skillet!

Cook, stirring continuously, for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add vinegar and a bit of salt to taste.

Submitted by Sara Jones, Tucson CSA