Enchilada Sauce - Easy

I was in the mood to make enchiladas.  Enchiladas are tex-mex, usually filled (in my neck of the woods) with ground beef and refried beans, rolled up blintz-style in a large burrito-sized soft flour tortilla, then covered with enchilada sauce and cheese (of the parve persuasion in my house).

Except I couldn't find kosher-friendly enchilada sauce or refried beans.  A few brands called themselves "vegetarian," but they contained the dreaded "natural flavor."  In the past I have called companies to find out what that is.  Sometimes the friendly call center person would tell me, "oh, that's just vegetable broth."  I would then ask if there was some meat involved in producing said vegetable broth, and then the friendly call center person would say, "yes, but the meat is removed so there's no meat in the final product."


So I learned to make-a-myself.

Today, I will post the enchilada sauce recipe.  The remaining parts of the meal, which include the enchiladas, refried beans and chilled corn soup will be posted on future dates.

When you first quickly scan the recipe, don't stare at the quantity of chili powder and start to hyperventilate; that's not a typo.  Despite it's heat-sounding name, chili powder is really mild, so please start with two tablespoons of the stuff.  You might actually want to add up to another tablespoon in future recipes.  Whatever you do, DO NOT substitute the same quantity of cayenne pepper, which has a fiery kick.  If you must, use only around 1/4-1/2 teaspoon.

Enchilada Sauce 
Adapted from foodnetwork.com
Yield:  about 1 1/2  cups of sauce, enough for one batch of enchiladas

2 Tbl. olive oil
1 Tbl. unbleached flour
2 Tbl. Mexican chili powder, plus more to taste
1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 can (6 ozs.) tomato paste
1 Tbl. loosely packed fresh oregano (or 1 tsp. dried)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste

In a medium saucepan heat oil, then stir in flour. Cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute to remove the flour-y taste. Add chili powder and continue cooking and stirring for another30 seconds to release its flavor.

Stir in stock, tomato paste, oregano, sugar, salt and cumin.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until reduced to desired thickness.
Add more salt or chili powder to taste, if needed.  Serve with enchiladas.


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