A Little “Home” Cooking…

No matter where the Army chooses to send us, I am and ALWAYS will be a Texas girl through and through.  I was born, raised, and spent the first 40 years of my life in San Antonio….home of the Alamo, the Riverwalk, and Mexican food.

MEXICAN FOOD! Tex-Mex specifically…

Tacos, nachos, burritos, and enchiladas. I love them all! I could eat Mexican food all the time but simple Tex-Mex Cheese Enchiladas have my heart AND taste buds. I’m kind of picky about my enchilada sauce. I prefer a thicker chili con carne over a thinner version but I love a flavor packed RED ENCHILADA SAUCE too!  I want to taste the chili powder and the cumin.

Today, I’ve been working on perfecting my homemade red enchilada sauce for a batch of ooey-gooey Tex-Mex enchiladas that I have planned for next week (watch for that blog post!)…I thought I’d share my recipe just in case you want to try it on your favorite enchilada recipe.

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Making homemade enchilada sauce at home might be easier than you think. I mean you control the heat to keep it cool for kids or spicy & sweat inducing for adults who like it hot, hot, hot plus its super quick so you should really skip the can!

Side note: There is a difference between traditional Mexican and Tex-Mex. The most notable difference between Tex-Mex and Mexican food is the difference in ingredients used, most commonly the type of cheese, cumin, and beef.  In Tex-Mex cooking yellow cheese such as cheddar is used most widely, whereas white cheese like queso fresco and Cojito are used in Mexican cooking. So if you see cheddar cheese on your plate you know it’s Tex-Mex! Another distinction between Tex-Mex vs Mexican food is in the spices used to flavor the food. Cumin is used all the time in Tex-Mex and not common in traditional Mexican food. And beef…well it is Texas. Most traditional Mexican recipes use pork or chicken.

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HOMEMADE RED ENCHILADA SAUCE : Yields: 2 cups

This homemade red enchilada sauce only takes about 10 minutes to make. It’s packed full of authentic flavors and tastes MUY BUENO!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp flour (I used all-purpose but any flour blend will work)
  • 2-3 tbsp chili powder (more or less depending on your preference and brand)
  • 2 tsp cumin (that’s how you know it’s Tex-Mex inspired)
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (omit if making mild sauce)
  • ¼ tsp salt (to taste)
  • Dash of nutmeg (optional but recommended)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste (I used homemade tomato paste…that’ll be a future post)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • Black pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Measure all dry ingredients (flour, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, oregano, red pepper, salt, nutmeg) into a small bowl.
  2. Heat vegetable oil over medium heat in a medium sauce pan. Once the oil is heated add the dry ingredients. While whisking constantly, toast the flour and spice mixture until fragrant and deeper in color.
  3. Once the mixture has reached its desired color, stir in the tomato paste. Slowly pour in the chicken broth. Continue whisking until smooth.
  4. Increase heat to medium-high, bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and gently simmer for 5-7 minutes until sauce starts to thicken and provides a little bit of resistance. (sauce will continue to thicken as it cools)
  5. Remove from heat. Whisk in the black pepper to taste. At this point you may want to add a little bit more salt.

Enjoy! I know I will!

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