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Authentic Red Enchilada Sauce (Gluten-Free)
Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.View all articles by Jefferson Adams
The secret to great enchiladas lies in the sauce. Canned or store-bought saucesusually fall short on flavor and often contain wheat. Many recipes also call for wheat to thicken the sauce. Here's a recipe that will deliver a great, authentic tasting enchilada sauce that will be naturally thick without requiring any flour or thickener.
6 medium dried ancho chiles, dried
4 medium guajillo chiles, dried
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp ground cumin
2 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
Juice of ¼ to ½ fresh lime
Pinch of sugar, as needed
Heat a heavy skillet to medium heat. Tear chillies into flat pieces, tops them, in the pan a few at a time. Use a metal spatula to press them down flat against the hot surface. As they begin to blister and change color, flip them over and press again. Remove the chilies from the heat, and soak soak them in a bowl of hot water for at least an hour, preferably 2 -3 hours. Reserve a cup of the soaking water.
Roast the garlic in the pan for about 15 minutes, turning regularly, until almost blackened, and soft inside. Remove from the pan, allow to cool and then peel.
Remove the stems from the chiles and puree in a blender with all the other ingredients, except the lime juice and sugar.
The sauce will be thick. I like a thicker enchilada sauce, but if you like, you can make the sauce thinner by adding a bit of the water from the soaked chilies, as you like. Add sugar as desired. I also like to add a couple squeezes of fresh lime juice for a bit of extra tartness.
You can place any extra sauce in a jar and keep it in the fridge for many weeks.
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