I am now living in the land of Real Mexican Food. It seems appropriate that I share with you a cheap, but delicious way of making your own red enchilada sauce. The base is not tomatoes, as might be supposed, but red chilies.
Buy a big (8oz) bag of dried red chilies (approximately 28 in a bag). Find these in the Mexican food section of your grocery store. I have found these in grocery stores all over the West. I don’t know if they are available in the East, but I am betting they are.
Remove the stems and seeds from the dried chilies. Cover with boiling water in a big bowl and cover for about 30 minutes. Remove about half of the chilies from the hot liquid and put them in a blender. Add 2 cups of the steeping liquid and blend until it becomes a thick red paste. Repeat with the remaining chilies and discard the rest of the liquid.
Now this paste will sit in your fridge for a long, long, long time. It won’t mold, it won’t go bad. For a 9 X 13 pan of enchiladas, you will only need 1/3 cup, so you can freeze it in small in dividual portions. An 8 oz bag makes 5 cups. So you now have the base for 15 big pans of enchiladas.
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 2 Tbsp oil, fat, lard
- ⅓ cup red chili paste
- 2 cans or 4 cups chicken broth (make your own!!)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced/crushed
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp cumin
- In a frying pan, make a roux with the flour and oil.
- Add the broth and stir until smooth.
- Add the red chili and herbs and salt.
- Simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes.
- Proceed to make enchiladas as usual.