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Ancho Chili Sauce

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Ancho Chili Sauce
Ancho Chili Sauce

2 pounds tomatoes — fresh or canned
20 large garlic cloves — unpeeled
3 ancho chilies — or chilis negros (3 to 4)
2 teaspoons dried oregano

If possible, grill the tomatoes over a charcoal or wood fire until they are soft but the skins have not blackened. Otherwise, broil them for 5 to 8 minutes, turning them frequently, until they are soft and the skins are blistered. Puree in a blender and set them aside.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Roast the garlic cloves until they are soft inside and slightly browned on the outside, about 20 minutes. Let them cool briefly; then peel. Put them in a small blender jar, and blend with some of the tomato puree.

Roast the chilies in the oven until they puff up and are fragrant about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the stems, seeds, and veins, tear into pieces, then blend in a small blender jar or spice mill.

Roast the oregano in a dry skillet until it is aromatic, and remove it to a dish to stop the cooking.

Heat the tomatoes; season them with the garlic puree, chili, oregano. and salt, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Makes about 3 cups (6 one-half cup servings)

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