Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Makes 7 to 8 cups
Melinda Frost of Rancho Murieta has been using enchilada sauce when making tamales. She'd like a recipe specifically for tamales.
Nancy Porter of Shingle Springs is a nutrition educator who teaches a cultural foods class at Folsom Lake College. She recently taught a tamale-making class, which included this recipe for the sauce.
The husband of one student gave the sauce two thumbs up. He said it tasted just like the sauce he remembered eating years ago in mom-and-pop Mexican restaurants in downtown Oakland.
Porter said this sauce can be made ahead and frozen.
10 whole dried California chilies
4 whole dried New Mexico chilies
4 whole dried pasilla chilies
4 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 cup water
8 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon ground cumin
In a large stock pot, boil all the ingredients together for about 10 minutes, or until chilies are softened. Remove all chilies except 2 California and 2 pasilla chilies. Make sure the stems are removed from the chilies remaining in the pot. Discard these stems and discard the removed chilies.
Pour all the remaining ingredients into a food processor or blender. (You may have to do this in 3 or 4 batches.) When everything is blended, pour into another pot (or slow cooker) and heat thoroughly. This is usually best done 1 or 2 days before making the tamales, allowing the flavors to blend and mellow.
Per ¼ cup: 23 calories; 1 gram protein; 4 grams carbohydrates; trace grams fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 128 milligrams sodium; 1 gram fiber; 11 percent calories from fat.