How To Make Enchilada Sauce

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Yup…You guessed it.  I am still on my Gotta-Have-Mexican-Flavour-Fetish, and today we are making Authentic Enchilada Sauce.  Not the stuff you buy in the grocery store or the ‘Americanized’ recipe versions I have seen on-line, but real, authentic enchilada sauce made by many a Mexican Abuela (grandma) using only 4 main ingredients.  The flavour can’t be beat and it is really simple to make.

Start off with 4 dried guajillo (gwah-hee-yo) peppers and 2 dried ancho pasilla (pa-see-ya) peppers.  These can be purchased in the Mexican aisle of your local grocery store.

Dried Peppers

Step 1 ~ Toast the peppers in a dry skillet over medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes until fragrant, turning often.  Careful not to let the peppers burn as this will ruin your sauce!

Step 2 ~ Place the peppers in a sauce pan and cover with cold water.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat, reduce heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until peppers have softened.  Remove from the liquid, reserving about a cup or so of the liquid.

Peppers_two

Peppers_threeStep 3 ~ Open the peppers and carefully remove the seeds and stems.  Remove the outer skin of the ancho peppers as it doesn’t break down in making the sauce.  Roughly chop the peppers and place in a blender or food processor.  Add 2 cloves of garlic and about a 1/2 cup of the reserved liquid from the pot.  Process until smooth, adding more water to reach desired consistency.  The sauce will be very thick, so adjust to your liking.  If there are pieces of pepper skins still remaining, press sauce through a sieve.

Add 1/4 tsp Mexican Oregano, salt and pepper to taste and that’s it, your done.  Makes about 1 cup of sauce.

Enchilada SauceUse in your favourite enchilada recipe, whether it be chicken (pollo), beef (carnitas) or pork or my very favourite, black bean filled enchiladas.

Black Bean Filling for Enchiladas:  Combine 2 cups of Black Beans (canned or dried that have been rehydrated and cooked which is my preferred way of utilizing beans) with 1 cup of your favourite salsa and 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro; mix well.

black bean fillingTo make enchiladas, heat 6″ tortillas either in the microwave or soften in a dry skillet over low heat for 1-2 minutes each side.  Place about a tablespoon or so of grated monterey jack cheese in the center of each tortilla.

enchilada_oneTop with black bean mixture, fold in sides and roll up, placing seam side down in a prepared casserole dish.  Top with some more sauce, shredded monterey jack and a slice of swiss cheese.  Bake at 350°F for about 25 minutes or until cheese is melted.

EnchiladasThese were so good, I had them twice last week.  Now I am wondering what else I can use the leftover sauce in…maybe on a pizza??? hmmmm…..that has possibilities.

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