Ah yes, a ranchero sauce for us gringos. There’s enough heat to make the sauce interesting, but not enough to be painful! Very tasty; even Our Kate of the Sensitive Mouth ate it. I confess that I normally double up the recipe and freeze some for later. My frozen peppers come in 16 oz packets, and I’d rather not have 1/2 tin of tomatoes left in the fridge afterwards. Its flavor is remarkably ‘fresh’ despite the tinned ingredients. Even the jalapeño is tinned, which I buy ready roasted and chopped in small cans from the supermarket. I guess for hardened Mexican food eaters, this is a reasonable quantity to use up in a short amount of time. We, however, only eat small amounts, so whenever I open a tin, I tip the rest into a small freezer bag, and freeze (flattened out so it’s easy to break off small pieces) for later use.
We love this sauce for breakfast over refried beans. It’s also an interesting addition to layered bakes such as Potato Layer Bakes, Mexican Lasagnas, Eggplant Layer Bakes, and it makes an excellent alternative for marinara sauce as a pizza topping.
Makes about 2 1/2 cups; 3-4 servings
1 tbsp margarine (I use Earth Balance)
1/2 cup onion (~1/4 of a large onion), diced
2-3 cups (8 oz) mixed sliced peppers (frozen is O.K.)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 – 1 jalapeño chili, seeds removed and flesh minced
1 tsp dried oregano, or equivalent of fresh
14 oz (1/2 large tin) chopped tinned tomatoes, with juices
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 tsps of sugar if necessary to counteract acidic tomatoes
Melt the margarine in a medium sized saucepan over a medium heat, and gently cook the onion, peppers, garlic, and chili for about 10 minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for a further 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
Either transfer the sauce to a full size food processor or use a stick blender, and pulse to reduce all lumps to no bigger than a pea, but do not puree.
Return to the pan (if you used a processor) and simmer until the sauce has thickened (~5 minutes).
Check seasoning, and serve hot.