Serious Eats: Recipes

Serious Heat: Huntley Dent's Red Chile Sauce Recipe

Note: On Thursdays, Andrea Lynn, associate editor of Chile Pepper magazine, drops by to drop some Serious Heat.

During my time pursuing a culinary degree, school didn't provide all my food-related lessons. I worked as a live-in nanny for a Long Island family, who introduced me to numerous new things: Delia Smith's technique of roasting meat at a super-high temperature, the standby of Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic, and the recipe for Huntley Dent's versatile Red Chile Sauce. At the time, I never knew homemade red chile sauce could taste so good (or that I could even make it at home). The chile powder was transformed into such a luxuriously silky, heat-spiked sauce. They schooled me on using good-quality chile powder--my personal go-to choice for the recipe is Chimayo Red Chile Powder from Santa Fe School of Cooking.

The family would braise a hunk of pork shoulder in the sauce for hours, and then serve it over garlic-heavy, soft white beans. But my favorite way to use the red chile sauce is for enchiladas. Simply poach chicken breasts, shred the meat, then combine it with the sauce and cheddar cheese. Wrap in tortillas, top with more sauce and cheese, and bake in a 400°F oven until warm. Dollop with sour cream to tame the heat.

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