There's probably a better name for this stuff, but I just call it pepper sauce.
This is the simplest version I make, and it's easy enough that you can make it any time you want it, as long as you have dried peppers on hand.
And since dried peppers store well, there's no reason not to have some stashed away.
I usually use a mix of peppers. Usually that includes anchos and guajillos. But use whatever you like, and whatever is available locally. You can certainly use all the same pepper, but I think a mix is nicer.
Use this recipe as a guideline, but experiment and modify.
Simple Pepper Sauce
12 dried peppers (I used 3 each of ancho, guajillo, hot New Mexico, and mild New Mexico peppers)
1 teaspoon salt (and more, to taste)
2 tablespoons honey (and more, to taste)
In a medium saucepan, heat about a quart of water to boiling. Turn off the heat and add the peppers. Make sure the peppers are submerged in the water. Let the peppers soak until they soften and are cool enough to handle.
It's best to use gloves when you handle the peppers, Even if they aren't hot, or even if pepper heat doesn't bother you, they can stain your hands.
When they're softened and are cool enough, remove the stems and seeds. It's fine if you leave some seeds, but remove the majority of them.
Put the cleaned peppers in your blender and add enough water to blend them into a loose milkshake-like consistency.
Strain the mixture through a fine strainer and into a clean saucepot. Discard the seeds and bits of peel that remain in the strainer. Some people skip this step, but I think it makes a much better sauce if it's strained.
Add the salt and honey and simmer for a few minutes. Taste it and adjust the salt and sweetness, as needed.
Last time I made this, I mixed it with some cooked pork roast and made sandwiches.
It's also great as an enchilada sauce, on chicken, or to flavor whatever you're stuffing into a tamale. And pickled onions went really well with it on this sandwich.
Cookbook author and food writer for Serious Eats, Whisk Magazine, and the Left Hand Valley Courier, among others. Columnist at American Recycler. Blogger at www.cookistry.com and reviews.cookistry.com.