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Red Chile Sauce

Whole dried red chiles are a great for adding heat and flavor to a pot of beans or stew but you can also turn them into a lovely red chile sauce for enchiladas, tamales or a marinade for meat.


  • 5 whole red chiles, wiped clean with a wet cloth
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1-2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

Heat a skillet over medium high heat until quite hot and add chiles. Use a wooden spoon to stir and flip the chiles, pressing them into the pan a bit too. You want them to get lightly toasted and become more pliable, but make sure to remove from heat before they burn. Submerge chiles in hot water and set aside. Add oil and garlic to the hot pan and stir to avoid burning, add cumin and cook until fragrant. Add garlic straight to the blender or food processor you will be using. Once chiles are softened, remove and discard stem end, trying to pull out most of the seeds as well. The Big Jim peppers in our shares are fairly mild, so it won’t matter if some seeds are left behind. Add peppers to blender along with the oregano and salt and about 1 1/4 cups of water or broth. Blend until smooth, adding more water if necessary. Taste for salt and add more as needed. I like to put a bit of vinegar in my sauce, add just a tiny bit and taste, then add more if desired. Store in fridge for one week or freeze into ice cubes to add to marinades.

Submitted by Sara Jones