How to make it

  • The Red Sauce Directions:
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roast the unpeeled garlic cloves until they are fragrant and soft inside, about 20 minutes. Set them aside to cool; then remove the skins.
  • Roast the chilies until they have puffed up and released their fragrance, about 4 minutes. Let them cool slightly; then remove the stems, seeds, and veins. Cut or tear them into pieces, and grind them to a powder in a spice mill or small blender jar.
  • Broil the tomatoes, if using fresh, turning them over, until they are soft and the skins are blistered but not charred. Puree in the blender, then pass them through a food mill or strainer. If using canned tomatoes, blend them together with their juice.
  • Roast the nuts in a dry skillet until they are lightly browned and somewhat crunch. Chop them roughly; then grind them in a spice mill or small blender jar to make a coarse meal. Using the same pan, briefly toast the oregano just until it becomes fragrant; then immediately turn it out into a bowl so it doesn't scorch.
  • Saute the onion in the oil for several minutes over medium heat. Add it with the roasted garlic to the tomato sauce, and blend until smooth. Stir the ground nuts, oregano, coco, cinnamon, and cloves. Season to taste with the chili powder and chilpotle pepper or puree and add salt if needed. A small amount of red wine vinegar will enhance the flavor.
  • The Chilaquiles Directions:
  • Cut the tortillas into 1-inch strips or wedges, whatever shape works best with you ramekins or casserole dish.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet until it is hot enough to sizzle when a piece of tortilla is dropped in. Fry the tortillas, a single layer at a time; until they are lightly colored, but not crisp. Set them on paper towels to drain.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Assemble the ramekins or a large casserole beginning with a few spoonfuls of red sauce followed by a layer of tortillas, half the black bean chili, a third of the cheese, and a few more spoonfuls of red sauce.
  • Repeat the layering of the tortillas, chili, cheese, and red sauce. Make a final layer of tortillas, cover with the remaining red sauce, cheese and sour cream.
  • Cover and bake until heated through. If all ingredients are warm, 10 minutes will suffice; if ingredients are cooled, allow 30 minutes for ramekins and 40 minutes for a casserole dish.
  • Serve garnished with sprigs of cilantro and accompanied by a salsa picante or tomatillo sauce.
  • Black Bean Chili Directions :
  • Sort through the beans and remove small stones. Rinse them well, cover them generously with water, and let them soak overnight. Next day, drain the beans, cover them with fresh water by a couple of inches, and bring to a boil with a bay leaf. Lower the heat and let the beans simmer while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • Heat a small heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, and when they begin to color, add the oregano leaves, shaking the pan frequently so the herbs don't scorch. As soon as the fragrance is strong and robust, remove the pan from the heat and add the paprika and cayenne. Give everything a quick stir; then remove from the pan--the paprika and the cayenne only need a few minutes to toast. Grind in a mortar or a spice mill to make a coarse powder.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. To make the chili powder, put the dried chili in the oven for 3-4 minutes to dry it out. Cool it briefly; then remove the stem, seeds, and veins. Tear the pods into small pieces and grind it into a powder in a blender or spice mill.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet, and saute the onions over medium heat until they soften. Add the garlic, salt, and the ground herbs, and chili powder, and cook another 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, their juice, and bout 1 tsp of the chipotle chile. Simmer everything together for 15 minutes; then add this mixture to the beans, and if necessary, enough water so the beans are covered by at least 1-inch.
  • Continue cooking the beans slowly until they are soft, an hour or longer, or pressure cook them for 30 minutes at 15 pounds pressure. Keep an eye on the water level and add more if needed.
  • When the beans are cooked, taste them, and add more chipotle chili if desired. Season to taste with vinegar, salt and chopped cilantro.
  • Prepare the garnishes. If you are using green chilies, roast them over a flame until they are evenly charred. Let them steam 10 minutes in a bowl covered with a dish; then scrape off the skins, discard the seeds and dice. Serve a bowl of chili with the other garnishments , if desired.
  • Salsa Picante Directions:
  • Bring a small pan of water to a boil, immerse the tomatoes for a count of ten, and immediately set them in a bowl of cold water. Cut out the cores, them remove the skins and squeeze out the seeds. Or, for a more rustic salsa, simply wash the tomatoes and chop them.
  • Blend the onions, cilantro, and garlic together with a little of the tomato for about 20 seconds; then add the rest of the tomato and blend very briefly, retaining some texture.
  • Mine or puree the chili and add it, to taste, to the sauce. Season with salt and a 1/4 tsp or more of vinegar to bring up the flavors.
  • Tomatillo Sauce Directions:
  • Bring a pan of water to a boil. After removing the papery husks from the tomatillos, andd them to the pan, and lower the heat. Simmer them gently for about 20 minutes; do not let them split. As they rice to the surface, it will be necessary to turn them so that they cook all over. When the tomatillos are done cooking, drain them.
  • Mix together the onion, garlic, chilies, and cilantro in a bowl, you can either grind them into a coarse paste or leave them as they are.
  • Blend the tomatillos to make a coarse textured puree. Or if you have a stone molcajete (Mexican stone mortar) grind them by hand to break them up.
  • Add the tomatillos to the rest of the ingredients, add a pinch or two of sugar, if they are tart, then season to taste with salt and a few drops to 1/2 tsp of vinegar.
  • All the sauce to cool; then serve. It will keep in the refrigerator for several days although the brightness of the fresh cilantro will fade after a few hours.
  • Note: If you do not like the taste of raw onion. Saute the onion in a tsp of corn or peanut oil for about a minute or so to take away the raw edge; then proceed with the rest of the recipe.

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