Notes: You can make this purée up to 3 days ahead; cover and chill.
3 ounces dried New Mexico or California chilies (9 to 12; each about 4 in. long)
1/3 cup chopped shallots
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Salt and pepper
How to Make It
Rinse chilies. Break off and discard stems and shake out as many seeds as you can. With scissors, cut chilies into 1/2-inch pieces and drop into a 1- to 2-quart pan. Add 1 1/2 cups water, shallots, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer until chilies are soft, 5 to 10 minutes. In a blender, whirl mixture until smooth. Press purée through a strainer set over a bowl. Stir in salt and pepper to taste.