Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Homemade Enchilada Sauce-of-Love...The Whole Enchilada Tutorial

Cinco De Mayo is coming. Someone asked me once, "When exactly is  Cinco De Mayo." I tried not to giggle...and sweetly responded that it was the 5th of May. Cinco. De. Mayo. It's a Mexican holiday and a lot of folks here in the desert Southwest celebrate it with food and festivities. 

Ironically, one of my darling-sweethearts-of-a-friends, henceforth known as "JJ" on the blog, won a personal cooking class from me a while back. Friday, we finally got together here at the CTB Test Kitchen. Do we call that a little TCB with CTB? Can I get a fat ring like Elvis had?  At any rate, JJ got to work really hard  play with me. Her request, "Can I learn how to make stinkin' delicious enchilada sauce like my Mother-in-law makes?"  Um...no pressure. I have no idea what her MIL's sauce is like, but I did get to show her mine. Mine is actually a cross between a Mole Sauce and an Enchilada sauce. It's pretty unique. I don't use fruit or nuts that are usually found in mole, but I do use some hints of cocoa, sweet spices and hot beautiful Ancho Chili peppers.  My husband Ace drinks this stuff like a smoothie. I'm not claiming he's all that bright, but he's a die-hard fan of this stuff. He has it over his bean burritos "enchilada style". It's evil delicious. Do you want to make it with us? Okay. True confession. This is the first time I've ever shared the recipe. So feel special.  Here you go...Weeeeeee. 

Chef Tess Especial Enchilada Sauce 

1 cup diced onion (about 1 medium)
1/4 cup lemon infused olive oil
3 cloves fresh pressed garlic
2-4 Tablespoons  ground Ancho chile powder (this is from 1-2 dried poblano chilies and is not chili powder)
1 tsp cumin seeds (1 3/4 tsp ground)
1 tsp black peppercorns (2 tsp ground)
1 tsp dried Mexican Oregano
1/4 tsp Chef Tess Wise Woman of The East Spice Blend ( or Saigon cinnamon)
1T Chef Tess Fajita Seasoning
1T baking cocoa (not hot chocolate)
1/4 cup all purpose flour ( or 2T cornstarch)
8 oz tomato sauce
4 cups chicken stock
Juice and zest of one lime

Directions: In a spice mill, grind the chilies. Add the cumin, pepper and oregano. Pulse until they are a smooth powder. Combine all all the spice blends and cocoa with the freshly ground chile mixture. 

In a gallon size pot over medium heat, saute the onions in olive oil until onions are transparent, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic the last 2 minutes of cooking. 
Add the spices and the cocoa. Stir well. Add the flour...
Stir quickly and let the starch in the flour "cook out" about 3 minutes. 
Get the chicken stock and the tomato sauce. 
Slowly pour the chicken stock into the pot, stirring with a whisk to avoid lumps. Add the tomato sauce.
Simmer 10-15 minutes until the sauce thickens and lightly covers the back of a spoon. Stir in the fresh lime juice and zest. Use right away for homemade enchiladas or chill and use later for ...um...enchilada smoothies for Ace. 
To make into enchiladas you will need:
2 dozen corn tortillas (you can make your own with my homemade corn tortilla tutorial)
1 1/2 lb ground beef ( I love them with my sweet and hot slow cooked Spanish pork)
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
1T Chef Tess Fajita Seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 lb grated cheese (of your choice)

Brown the beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until crumbly and ready to fill tortillas. Another fast favorite is to just use my favorite taco TVP for vegetarian husband...who frankly can't tell the difference between it and beef. 

I soften my tortillas in a simmering skillet of lightly salted water. This is not traditional, but there are some who use a hot oil to soften the tortillas. Frankly I need the lower fat version.

Put one cup of the prepared enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9 by 13 casserole. 
Soften a tortilla in the hot water, about 30 seconds. Don't go too long or it will get too mushy to work with. 
Fill with some meat mixture and roll. 
put them in your pan seam side down and tuck them tightly together. 

When all the rolls are done, top with the remaining sauce. 
Sprinkle with cheese and bake at 375 degrees 25-30 minutes uncovered.
 Cheese will melt an get gooey.  Use caution when scooping the molten cheese beauty into your mouth. Seriously. Dangling cheese from your lips is sooo unprofessional. Hilarious yes. 
 Scoop onto festive plates and drip any extra sauce from the pan onto the enchiladas. 
There you go! Make some crazy delicious enchiladas! JJ tells me her family devoured the entire pan. I'm calling that a win!  

Get the printable recipe : here

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess


Deanne Crim said...

Okay, now this is starting to get SPOOOOKY, Chef Tess!! I have been thinking ALL WEEK about how on earth I could make my own Enchilada sauce...I am tired of buying cans of stuff that I don't really know how good the ingredients are...and VOILA! Here you are...answering my request without me EVER even mentioning it! WOOOHOOOO for the PRINCESS BAKERESSE!! La La La LOVE YOUUU!!! (Now we just need a "Meal in a Jar" version of the recipe to go with our FABULOSO Jar Recipe Collection!)

Chef Tess said...

Ahhh. I think a meal in a jar for this could be arranged. Spooky that you would say it. Xoxo!