New This Month

Red Chile Sauce

Make this for our Breakfast Enchiladas.

  • Yield: Makes 3 cups

Source: Martha Stewart Living, July 2004


  • 9 dried New Mexican chiles
  • 6 dried guajillo chiles
  • 1 quart boiling water, for soaking chiles
  • 6 garlic cloves (do not peel)
  • 6 plum tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons New Mexican chile powder
  • 6 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, seeded
  • 1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano
  • Coarse salt


  1. Toast New Mexican and guajillo chiles in a dry large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, turning, until warm and soft, about 30 seconds per side (do not let blacken, or chiles will be bitter). Remove chiles; reserve skillet.

  2. Discard stems; cut chiles lengthwise with kitchen shears, and discard seeds. Cover chiles with boiling water. Let stand until hydrated, about 20 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, cook garlic and tomatoes in skillet over medium-high heat, turning, until charred and soft, about 10 minutes. Set tomatoes aside; peel garlic.

  4. Heat oil in skillet over medium-low heat until hot but not smoking. Cook onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add chile powder; cook 1 minute. Drain chiles, reserving 1 1/2 cups liquid.

  5. Puree onion, hydrated chiles, chipotle chiles, tomatoes, garlic, and oregano in a blender, adding a small amount of the reserved soaking liquid if mixture seems dry. Pass sauce through a fine sieve into skillet.

  6. Cook over medium heat, stirring, 5 minutes. Add remaining soaking liquid. Simmer until sauce is thickened, 12 to 15 minutes. Season with salt. If not serving immediately, refrigerate up to 2 days. Just before serving, heat over low heat; add water if sauce seems too thick.

Cook's Notes

Be sure your kitchen is ventilated when you soak the New Mexican and guajillo chiles (the latter is especially fiery); the vapors can be a mild irritant. When working with chiles, remember to wear protective gloves.

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