Sunday, June 16, 2013

Red Hot

Frijoles Canyon

You may have thought that I was (finally) finished posting about my New Mexico trip, but you'd be wrong! I will spare you the ton o' photos that I have and every last detail, but suffice it to say my final destination was Bandelier National Monument, 33,000 acres of canyon and mesa country that contains evidence of human presence (i.e. pueblo structures/kivas and petroglyphs) that dates back over 11,000 years. So, yeah. I'm still posting! 

Bandelier National Monument

Me in a Kiva

Before my departure, I stocked up on some local red chile powder so that I could try my hand at making the red chile sauce so prevalent in Santa Fe. There is some discussion about what is traditional (chile powder ONLY) and what isn't (the addition of cumin and oregano for instance). I say, just make it the way you like it. The red chile sauce police are probably out drinking margaritas, so do what you want!

Tina's New Mexico Red Chile Sauce

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin (optional)
1/4 teaspoon oregano (optional)
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup pure red chili powder
3 cups low sodium broth (beef, chicken or vegetable)
1 teaspoon salt

1. Add the oil to a saucepan and cook the garlic for 1 minute over low heat. Add the cumin, oregano and flour and cook until the mixture bubbles and the flour begins to brown, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes.

2. Meanwhile in a medium bowl, whisk the chile powder and the broth until smooth. Add to the flour mixture along with the salt. Increase the heat to medium and bring to a low simmer, whisking frequently, and cook gently for 15 - 20 minutes, until the mixture has thickened slightly. (Chile can burn easily and impart a bitter flavor so cook slowly, stirring frequently.) The sauce will keep for one week refrigerated and can also be frozen. Use to make enchiladas or to drizzle over anything that needs an extra kick. Makes 3 cups of sauce.

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