Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Enchilada Sauce (For my brother, Mark)

 Enchilada sauce from scratch is a bit of a pain to make.  The recipe I follow is for a single batch to make one pan of enchiladas but I NEVER do it that way.  If I'm going to the trouble to make it, I make a bunch and freeze it for future use.  I use a full bag (16oz.) of the dried mild chiles.  We like it a bit spicy so I add in 20 of the hot chiles.
 The recipe says to soak the chiles and then remove the stems and seeds.  I have found that it is easier to remove the stems and seeds first.  Just pull off or cut off with scissors the stem at the top and pour out the seeds.

 Next step is to rinse and soak your chiles.  Fill the pan with water, swish it around and then dump out the first water.  Fill with water again.
 Cover pan and bring to a boil.  Turn the heat off, leave the lid on and let the chiles soak for an hour.
 Once your chiles are softened, begin running the chiles with some of the soaking liquid in your blender or food processor.  As you can see, I like using a glass measuring cup to scoop up the chiles.  This is a MESSY job.  Wear an apron.  Chile stuff doesn't come out very well even with Spray and Wash. 
 Next, place your sieve/strainer over a large bowl.  Pour the processed chiles through the sieve.  Use a plastic scraper to work the chile through the sieve. When you have worked all of the chile through, add a cup or 2 of water into your blender and process to clean out the excess chile and pour it through as well.  This will help push through the rest of the chile into the bowl.  The dry-ish stuff that is left in your sieve is leftover skin and seeds.  When it gets to that dry point you can throw that part away.

I usually use 2 bowls because there is a lot of chile when making a big batch.  You can't push it through if it is sitting down in the chile sauce.

 Next, pre-measure your seasonings, oil, flour, vinegar and prep/peel your garlic.

One note: Salt is a variable in this recipe.  Chile on it's own is pretty bitter.  The salt is what changes that.  In my experience, if you follow the actual recipe, you will need a bit more salt to make it taste right.  SO, taste, add salt, taste again.  You don't want too much salt but you definitely don't want bitter.
 Saute garlic in oil just until garlic begins to lightly brown and then remove garlic.
 Now add in the flour and sauté for a minute.
 Dump in the chile and the rest of your ingredients. Simmer for about 15 minutes and check for salt.  (See above.)
Make enchiladas!  This batch was my sample and it was just heated in the microwave and still was really yummy. 

To make enchiladas......
*Toast corn tortillas in a hot skillet.  No oil needed.  Just heat till they begin to brown on both sides.  You still want them to be soft enough to roll but a little brown to add flavor. I usually place them inside a folded dish towel to keep them warm while I'm working with them. (I do 14 tortillas for a 9x13 pan)
*For beef filling, cook 1 lb. of hamburger, drain, add some of the red chile sauce and roll in warmed tortillas.  You can also make cheese enchiladas, chicken or whatever you prefer. Chopped onion is also a possibility if you like that.
*Roll enchiladas, place in pan seam side down.  Pour sauce over the top and grated cheese on top of that.
*Easy Peasy!

Original Recipe:  (Single Batch)

Salsa para Enchiladas (Enchilada Sauce)

8 dried California chiles
1 1/2 Tbsp. lard or vegetable oil
1 garlic clove
1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. vinegar
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. garlic powder

Wash chiles thoroughly. Place in a large saucepan and cover generously with water. Cover and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and let stand 45 minutes or until softened. Drain chiles, reserving soaking liquid. Pull off stems, slit chiles open and finse off seeds.  Place chiles and 1 cup soaking liquid in blender or food processor.  Process until pureed.  Turn into a sieve and rub through sieve into bowl to eliminate small bits of peel.  Rinse blender with additional 1 cup soaking liquid and pour over remaining pulp in sieve.  Heat lard or oil and garlic in a medium saucepan.  When lard or oil is fragrant with garlic, discard garlic clove. Stir in flour until mixture is smooth.  Cook about 1 minute.  Add pureed chile mixture and remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat.  Cook and stir until slightly thickened.  Taste and add more salt if needed.  Makes about 2 1/3 cups/

My BIG version:

16 oz. bag mild chiles
20 (each) hot chiles
2/3 cup oil
10 whole garlic cloves
2/3 cup flour
3 Tbsp. vinegar
1/4 cup salt
2 1/2 tsp. dried leaf oregano, crushed
2 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Just follow the above directions using the larger quantity of ingredients.

Good luck, Mark!  Text me if you have any questions along the way! 


Suzanne said...

Great, now I'm hungry!!

Hey Marlene, wanted to wish a Happy Mother's Day in advance and hope you'll watch my youngest daughter's rendition of a Taylor Swift song. Makes me smile every time!

Karen Schurr said...

Sounds yummy. Will have to give tis a try. Thanks for sharing.