Food & Drink

Red Chili Sauce

Makes 4½ cups

Red chili sauce can be as versatile as tomato sauce. Incorporate it into recipes for meatloaf and hearty casseroles. This recipe also is from "The Texas Cowboy Kitchen."

Ingredients:

16 dried ancho chili peppers, about ½ pound

6 cups water

ª cup white wine

½ white onion, peeled and diced

5 cloves garlic, minced

Instructions:

Rinse the chilies to remove any dirt. Slit each chili with a sharp knife and remove and discard the seeds and stem. Wash hands very well after this, as the peppers are hot. Wear gloves if you have sensitive skin. Place the peppers in a large saucepan and cover with water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. The peppers should be soft and have absorbed some liquid. When cooked, remove the pan from the heat and set aside without draining.

While the peppers are cooking, combine the wine, onion, garlic, brown sugar, cumin and honey in a small saucepan. Set this mixture over medium heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are soft. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Using tongs, transfer the cooled anchos to the container of a blender. Add about 2 cups of the ancho liquid and all of the onion broth. Cover the blender container and start blending at low speed, increasing to high speed as the purée becomes combined. The result will be a thick, dark-red sauce. Adjust seasonings with salt, pepper and more honey, if desired. Use the sauce as is in a recipe, or place in a clean glass container and refrigerate. Use the sauce within a week or freeze for later use.

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