Whole dried ancho peppers create a delicious and authentic red chili sauce to make your tamales, tacos, enchiladas and chilaquiles sing with home made flavor.  The best part of making it yourself is that you control the flavors and the heat level of your sauce. If you want a very mild sauce more tomato than chili omit the Yahualica peppers. They provide the heat so use one for medium and 3 for a more spicy sauce. The roasted tomato and onion in this sauce provides a sweetness that balances the heat so it will never be a 5 alarm fire chili sauce. 



Preheat the oven to 380 degrees.

Toast the whole chilis in a dry pan over medium heat for a minute per side until they soften slightly. Be careful not to burn them or they will become bitter. 

Carefully tear off the stems and pour out the seeds, disposing or composting the stems and seeds.

Place the chilis in a glass bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soak for 30 minutes.

While the chilis are softening, roast the tomato, onion and garlic in the oven on a foil lined baking sheet until soft and starting to brown on the edges  turning them occationally and watching that the garlic does not burn (15-20 minutes).

Put the soaked chilis (reserving the soaking liquid) and the roasted veggies in a blender with the remaining ingredients and blend on high until smooth. Add a bit of soaking liquid if it is too thick. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.

Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a week. 

Serve warm with tamales, enchaladas, chiliaquiles, fish or chicken.


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