Enchilada sauce is a staple in my pantry and this chipotle and ancho cocoa enchilada sauce is my current favourite. The basis of enchilada sauce is the chili peppers and I like this combination of ancho and chipotle chilies for it’s flavour, heat level and the smokiness. Enchilada sauces can be made with all chilies but I like the addition of the tomatoes and the onion, garlic, cumin and oregano are all pretty standard seasonings. What makes this enchilada sauce a little special is the addition on the cocoa and cinnamon which adds just a hint of something exotic that most just can’t quite place until you tell them. I was thinking about a simple mole sauce when I thought to add it to my enchilada sauce. You can use enchilada sauce in so many different ways and this chipotle and ancho cocoa enchilada sauce is perfect in all of them; I can’t wait to share the recipe that I used this batch in! (See below the recipe for some ideas to use this enchilada sauce in!)
Chipotle and Ancho Cocoa Enchilada Sauce
Enchilada sauce with smokey chipotle chilies, ancho chilies and a hint of cocoa powder and cinnamon!
- 2 chipotle chili peppers
- 4 ancho chili peppers
- 1/2 cup water, just boiled
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon lime juice (or cider vinegar)
- Heat a heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat, add the chilis and toast lightly on both sides, about 2-3 minutes, place in a shallow bowl, add the just boiled water, place another bowl on top to hold the chilies under the water and let soak for 20-30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in the skillet over medium-high heat, add the onions and cook until tender and slightly charred, about 3-5 minutes before adding the garlic and cumin and cooking until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add the tomatoes, oregano, cocoa and cinnamon and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove the stems from the peppers (I just pull them out using tongs), place the papers along with the tomato and onion mixture into a blender and puree, adding as much of the water that the chilies were soaking in as required to get the desired consistency.
- Return the sauce to the pan, bring to a simmer and season with slat, pepper and lime juice to taste before enjoying in your favourite recipe or sealing in a container and refrigerating or freezing until used.
Note: If you are working with a roast (such as pork, beef or lamb), use the rendered fat from the roast instead of oil for more flavour. I also like to use bacon grease when I am not using a roast for that hit of smoky bacon flavour!
Option: If you are working with a roast (such as pork, beef or lamb), add say 1/2 cup of the juices to the enchilada sauce and simmer to reduce for even more flavour!
Option: I like fire roasted tomatoes.
Option: If the enchilada sauce it too sour, add a bit of brown sugar to balance it out.
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