Enchilada Sauce

  • Active Time 20m
  • Total Time 1h 50m
  • Rating ****

Makes 4 cups

The Diner is the best place for breakfast in Yountville, CA. Owner Kaaren Gann serves this enchilada sauce with her huevos rancheros.


  • 4 ounces whole dried pasilla chili peppers or 2 ounces pasillas combined with 2 ounces New Mexican or anchos*
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons corn oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • One 14 1/2-ounce can tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 corn tortilla, cut into shreds
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste

Companion recipe: Huevos Rancheros


With scissors, cut off the chili stems, slice them open lengthwise and

discard the seeds. Cut the chili in half and set them in a bowl.

Bring the water and vinegar to a boil, pour over the chilies and

steep them for 30 minutes, until softened.

In a 4-quart heavy saucepan over high heat, add the oil. Add the onion and saute,

stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Add the

sesame seeds and garlic and saute for a minute, stirring or until the

sesame seeds begin to turn color. Stir in the ground cloves and cinnamon,

then immediately add the tomatoes, along with the chilies and the water

and vinegar in which they were steeping. Bring the liquid to a simmer,

cover and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Stir in the cocoa powder

and corn tortilla and remove from the heat. Cool for 30 minutes.

In a blender, in batches, puree the sauce until smooth. Season with

salt to taste.

* The flavor and amount of "heat" depends on the type of chili peppers you use and if you have sensitive skin, handle the chili peppers with surgical gloves. The Diner uses only pasilla chili peppers in their sauce, but if you like your sauce a bit less fiery, mix the pasillas with milder New Mexican or ancho peppers.

Serving size= 4 tablespoons

Recipe courtesy of Kaaren Gann, The Diner, Yountville, CA

Recipe reprinted by permission of Cooks' Catalogue, Inc. All rights reserved.

RecID 4234

nutrition information per serving

271 calories; 18g total fat; 0mg cholesterol; 631mg sodium; 27g carbohydrates; 11g fiber; 7g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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