Wish Upon A Dish: Homemade Chile Sauce & a Tamale Casserole

September 28, 2010

Homemade Chile Sauce & a Tamale Casserole

I love making my own chile sauce. Buying canned and jarred just won't cut it. You just don't know what's in there. I am making a tamale casserole tonight and Huevos Rancheros on Friday so I need a good sauce.

Here's how I did it......

2 New Mexico dried chiles (or dried anchos)
3 cloves of garlic, skins on
1 medium onion, cut in half, skinned
2 cups chicken broth
1 chipotle pepper & 1 tbls adobo sauce
salt & pepper
1 heaping tsp cumin
1 tsp Mexican oregano, rubbed in palm to release the oils
1 28oz can fire roasted tomatoes, Muir Glen
1 good squirt agave nectar

On a broil pan, place dried peppers, garlic and onions and broil until blackened.
Soak peppers in hot water till pliable. Peel garlic and chop onions.
In processor or blender, add peppers, garlic, onions, some soaking liquid and tomatoes.
Process till pureed. It won't be totally smooth because of the pepper skins.
To heavy saucepan, empty contents of processor and add chicken broth, chipotle and adobo, oregano, cumin and agave.
Simmer for 45 minutes. Blend again and strain into pan, making sure to press on the solids. Simmer until thick. Adjust salt & pepper. Store in container and refrigerate.
Makes about 3 cups

Use this as a great enchilada sauce, over burritos, bake chicken in it, serve it over Macaroni & Cheese....the uses are endless.

I found this recipe quite a while ago on myrecipes.com.
I never had a tamale and not sure I would ever make them for just the 2 of us, this looked like a close enough recipe to what a tamale would taste like. I am a big fan of cornmeal and this was one of the easiest dinners to put together.
I love that it uses left-over chicken and a boxed cornmeal muffin mix. A win-win for me.

Tamale Casserole

* 1 cup (4 ounces) preshredded 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese, divided
* 1/3 cup fat-free milk
* 1/4 cup egg substitute
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
* 1 (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn
* 1 8.5-ounce)corn muffin mix (like Jiffy)
* 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
* Cooking spray
* 1 (10-ounce) can red enchilada sauce (such as Old El Paso) or homemade (recipe above)
* 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
* 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream


1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Combine 1/4 cup cheese and next 7 ingredients (through chiles) in a large bowl, stirring just until moist. Pour mixture into a 13 x 9–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

3. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until set. Pierce entire surface liberally with a fork; pour enchilada sauce over top. Top with chicken; sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese.

4. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Cut into 8 pieces.

Using homemade enchilada sauce made all the difference in the outcome. Some sour cream over the top and.......dinner is served.

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