Ancho-Chipotle Sauce

Ancho (Ahn-cho) Chile (Capsicum Annum) means Wide Chile Pepper. This chile ranges from 3 – 4 on a heat scale of 1 to 10. An Ancho is the dried form of a Poblano Pepper and often is mislabeled as a Pasilla or Mulato Pepper. Anchos have sweet fruity flavor with hints of cherry, prune, and fig. Anchos, combined with the Pasilla and Guajillo, form the Holy Trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces. Scoville heat units are 1,000 to 3,000.

Suggested Use:
Anchos are great in salsa, soups, enchilada and any sauce needing mild heat and chile flavor. Chopped, pureed or ground, they can be added directly to your recipes.

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2 dried ancho chiles ( 1 oz. )
1 chipotle chile (fresh or canned)
2 cups water
1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp. cumin seeds, toasted

Discard the stems from the chiles and remove the seeds. Rinse the chiles under cold running water.

Bring the chiles and water to a simmer in a non-reactive 1-1/2 quart saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt, then simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally (add more water if necessary to cover chiles), until softened, about 30 minutes. While chiles are cooking, finely grind cumin seeds with a mortar and pestle or in an electric coffee/spice grinder. Transfer chiles and vegetables with a slotted spoon to a blender and puree with cumin and a cup of chile water (save remaining chile water) until smooth. Sauce should be thick but not stiff; add more chile water, 1 Tbsp. at a time if necessary. Season with salt.

NOTE: Sauce may be made 3 days ahead, cooled completely and chilled, covered. Reheat before serving.

Makes about 1 cup.

Recipe from Gourmet Magazine.