First burritos and now enchilada sauce – I’m on a Mexican kick these days! I suppose it makes sense, since I associate Latin flavors with hot weather and carefree evenings. Nothing says summer quite like guacamole and pico de gallo . . . except maybe a mezcal margarita!
I’ve always loved enchiladas, but gave them the boot after reading the back of the canned sauces (think sugar, preservatives, and MSG, for starters). But I missed them too much, and so early this summer I set about testing recipes. And you know what? Enchilada sauce is actually really simple to make.
To me, red sauce always tasted like nothing else did, so I figured it had to have some strange exotic additive, some odd ingredient that would make it impossible to master. But . . . nope. It’s just aromatics, stock, tomatoes, and chilis. And it’s easy!
1 tablespoon oil
1 onion, chopped
a few cloves garlic, chopped
a handful cherry tomatoes
1-2 oz dried whole chilis – I use about 1.6 oz Anchos
1 1/2 cups veggie broth
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
1/4 cup vinegar (white or cider, I use cider)
2 tablespoons flour (use chickpea or rice for gluten-free)
3 tablespoons chili powder – I used 1 each Ancho, Chipotle, and ‘chili spice’
1 teaspoon cumin
salt to taste
1/4 cup Tofutti™ cream cheese (optional)
Place chilis under water in a bowl, allow to rehydrate (an hour or so).
Heat a pan over medium heat, add the oil, and then add the onions and garlic. Sauté until they begin to lighten, then add the fresh cherry tomatoes. Sauté another few minutes.
Add the rest of the ingredients, bring them to boil, and then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for a few minutes.
Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool before transferring to a food processor. Blend until smooth.
For a creamier sauce, which I highly recommend, add the Tofutti™ and re-blend.
The first thing I did with my sauce was – of course – enchiladas! Two small corn and black bean enchiladas, topped with a homemade vegan ‘cheese’ sauce, and cooked up in a bread pan. SO cute!
A few days later I used the leftover sauce in ‘bowls’, which is this sort of trendy and terrific way of dining that’s popping up all around Portland. It’s basically just grain + legume + green, topped with sauce = surprisingly awesome way of eating. In this case I used brown rice + pinto beans + kale + roasted zucchini, topped with the enchilada sauce. Divine!