Tacos for 125: Ancho Chili Sauce

Ancho chili sauce
Due to the ripeness of the tomatoes I was using and the natural bitterness of the ancho chili I needed a good amount of sugar in each batch to give this sauce balance. I made a mild and hot version. The mild, which was also very sweet was the most popular red sauce of the four that were put out for the party.

In the future, I want to experiment with adding ingredients to this sauce. Dark brewed coffee or even some bakers chocolate would compliment the ancho chili. For the purposes of the party though I felt like this sauce was spot on and it garnered the most compliments of all traditional taco sauces. (A special white sauce I made for the party was the biggest hit, but it was a gourmet dressing rather than a taco sauce.)

An Ancho chili is a dried poblano pepper and is the most widely used dried chili in Mexico. It has a “dark” or “rich” flavor similar to prunes or raisins with a slight amount of bitterness. It is considered to have a mild to medium heat.

Salsa Verde
Gaujillo Sauce
The Meat
Meal Overview

Salsa bar for tacos
Makes 2 Quarts
8 to 10 Tomatoes, quartered
4 Red onions, quartered
6 Jalapeños
6 to 8 Garlic cloves
6 to 8 Ancho chilis
2 C Cilantro
2 Tbs to 1/2 C Sugar
Juice of 3 Limes

Roast or grill vegetables, soak chilis
Preheat oven or grill to 425° and boil pot of water. Toss tomatoes, onions, garlic and jalapeños in a little olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tomatoes wilt and edges appear slightly scorched. While vegetables cook soak chilis in a bowl of boiling water covered with plastic wrap or a with tight fitting lid for at least 15 minutes or until reconstituted.

Blend, adjust taste
Remove chilis from water and carefully remove stem and seeds. IN TWO BATCHES, divide and place chilis, vegetables, sugar and cilantro in blender, then liquefy. Taste, adjust seasoning, if slightly bitter add a little more sugar and if to thick add water until desired consistency is achieved.

To make a hot salsa and a mild salsa, place more of the jalapeños in one batch than the other or adjust heat intensity by removing all, some or none of the stems and seeds.

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