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Simmered Tomato-Jalapeno Sauce

1 pound tomatoes (about 2 large or 8-10 plum)
3/4 ounce jalapeno chilies (1-2), stemmed
1/2 small white onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon oil or lard
salt, to taste depending on salt content of broth

Roasting the tomatoes and chilies: Roast the tomatoes and chilies
on a baking sheet 4 inches below a very hot broiler until blistered
and blackened on 1 side, about 6 minutes, then use tongs or a spoon
to turn them over and roast the other side. Cool, then peel the
tomatoes, collecting all the juices. Roughly the chilies. Coarsely
puree the tomatoes (with juices) and the chilies in a food processor
or blender. Pulse the mixture only a few time leaving it quite
chunky for huevos rancheros, for instance, or run the machine until
the sauce is quite smooth if you're preparing, say enchiladas.

Cooking the sauce: In a medium (8-9 inch) deep, heavy skillet or
medium size saucepan heat the oil or lard over medium heat. Add
the onion and fry until browned, about 10 minutes. Increase the
heat to medium-high, and when very hot, add the tomato-chili mixture.
Stir for 5 minutes or so as the mixture sizzles, darkens and
thickens, then reduce the heat to medium- low, stir in the broth
and let the sauce cook at a gentle simmer for about 15 minutes,
until beginning to thicken (though it shouldn't be as thick as
spaghetti sauce). Taste and season with salt and it's ready to use.

Yield: 4 cups


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