This part really isn't very difficult at all. It just takes some 'splainin'. Once you've done it once or twice it's really NBD and only takes about 15 minutes. You just need to do this earlier in the day or at some earlier time because it's much easier to assemble your enchiladas when the sauce is cool. Also, red chile sauce freezes very well.
A word about chile. My father, Buck Sommerville, a renowned chile farmer and an innovator of the dehydrator and packaged red chile, always wanted to eat "fresh" red chile. The taste is actually better. So look for a package that has chile that is slightly soft and bendable, not crackly and breaking. Also, the color is slightly more red than brown with freshly packaged red chile. But if you're desperate, any whole dried pods will do. And a warning about ground up dried red chile "powder". Don't do it. You don't know what it is, how old it it, what bugs are in it, how it was stored, etc. It is the last resort of a chile lover.
I always get "MILD". That's because farmers today have a hard time getting pure seed. And if the seed isn't produced in a field that is isolated from another field that is growing "HOT" you might burn up everything from your lips to your *. So get mild. You might get a hot batch anyway.
Wash the chile and start breaking the stems off. You don't really have to wash out the seeds but it might help make the finished product milder. We like a little "pica" (bite) with our chile so I don't bother washing out the seeds...they will get strained out later. Keep the water running over your work, the dust can bring on a coughing fit.
Then cover your chiles with water and on the stove top they go.
Get your blender and a dish towel.
You'll see why in a minute.
Fish your chiles out of the pot and put them in the blender. And here is where I put in some fresh Oregano. Or you could use a pinch of dried. Just thrown it into the blender with the chile. Use a strainer to pour some of the boil water in, just enough to cover well.
And you really don't want to be trying to get a chile stain off the ceiling. Or anything else.
Blend up your chile and the water and oregano.
So now you've got a bowl of pure chile. Isn't it beautiful? Do you have a sweater or something you want to dye?
Alternatively, you can use a food mill, such as this trusty old stand-by. It belonged to my Grandmother!
I say a pinch because cumin is very powerful and I just like a tiny bit of it in my sauce. You may want more, especially if you grew up in Arizona or eating Tex-Mex, which isn't the same as our Southern New Mexican food. In my opinion, all that garlic and cumin just muddies up the taste, and possibly was needed where you didn't get good chile. You want to taste the chile.
Then pour your pure chile in there, be careful not to have your pan too hot. We don't want spatters.
Now, this part is controversial. Or just personal preference. But I think adding another liquid at this point is preferable, mainly because you need to stretch out your sauce a little. I personally like to use chicken broth. About the amount of a small can is enough. My dear Auntie likes to put in tomato soup. Lots of people want just water. But I think chicken broth is best and it mellows the bitter bite of the chile just enough.
Okay, so when the sauce has thickened to the point it coats a spoon, you're done. That was easy, wasn't it?
Next installment: Assembling the Enchiladas.