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Old 09-19-2019, 02:53 PM   #1
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Mexican Food Lovers - Red Enchilada Sauce

For those of you who love enchiladas, here's a link to a fabulous recipe from Mexican Food Journal for putting together an authentic red enchilada sauce that's easy to make, and could well be the very best red enchilada sauce you've ever tasted !

I ran across this recipe 3 or 4 years ago, and have been making it ever since - several times each year because I love chicken enchiladas.
I experimented with this recipe many times, ending up with 2 or 3 versions from which I selected the one I now use every time.

These few changes I now incorporate each time I make it:

- Instead of using 8 Ancho Chiles and 4 Pasilla Chiles, I now stick to 4 Anchos, and 8 Guajillos. I like the flavor better as well as the redder color.

- When blending the reconstituted chiles with the other ingredients in the recipe, I usually add 1 small chipotle pepper in adobo sauce for extra kick.

- I also add approx. 1 tspn. each of cumin, brown sugar, and tomato paste (puree)

- I don't find it necessary to cook the sauce at the tail end. I felt it didn't add anything beneficial to the sauce or it's making.

I don't mind extra heat, and even use grated Habanero or Jalapeno Monterey Jack Cheese on top of the tortillas, and covering enchilada sauce, before baking.

Try this sauce - you won't go back to whatever else you've been using to date!

https://mexicanfoodjournal.com/red-enchilada-sauce/

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Old 09-19-2019, 03:03 PM   #2
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Too many redirects and popups on that link.
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Old 09-19-2019, 03:18 PM   #3
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Too many redirects and popups on that link.

I had no problem at all with that link...you must not have Adblock Plus Craig.


Thanks for the interesting link Paul, but I prefer a much milder sauce.
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Old 09-19-2019, 03:33 PM   #4
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Here's pics before & after of my chicken enchiladas:
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Old 09-19-2019, 03:38 PM   #5
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Too many redirects and popups on that link.
Was that comment necessary in this thread ? The answer is no.
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Old 09-19-2019, 04:46 PM   #6
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Thanks for the interesting link Paul, but I prefer a much milder sauce.

Actually Kay, I was quite surprised to find that both ancho and guajillo chiles are really quite mild - no truly discernible heat to speak of.

They do add a very pleasant flavor to the sauce though.
That's why I add chipotle in adobo, and jalapeno cheese to my enchiladas, in order to increase the heat/spiciness.
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Old 09-19-2019, 05:05 PM   #7
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For those of you who love enchiladas, here's a link to a fabulous recipe from Mexican Food Journal for putting together an authentic red enchilada sauce that's easy to make, and could well be the very best red enchilada sauce you've ever tasted !

...
do you happen to have your final version of the recipe in one recipe?
It would be so much easier than trying to fix the original recipe, read all in one place, all fixed up.

Thank you.
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Old 09-19-2019, 05:24 PM   #8
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Was that comment necessary in this thread ? The answer is no.
Too each their own.
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Old 09-19-2019, 05:37 PM   #9
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Too each their own.
??

Your comment was unhelpful, if not plain rude, and certainly unappreciated. It would be polite for you to keep that kind of criticism to yourself.
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Old 09-19-2019, 05:41 PM   #10
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do you happen to have your final version of the recipe in one recipe?
It would be so much easier than trying to fix the original recipe, read all in one place, all fixed up.

Thank you.
I don't Charlie - I do it by memory each time - but I should have a version I could post - I'll prepare one when I can get around to it.
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Old 09-19-2019, 06:48 PM   #11
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??

Your comment was unhelpful, if not plain rude, and certainly unappreciated. It would be polite for you to keep that kind of criticism to yourself.
I thought the answer served three purposes: 1) to explain why Craig wasn't participating in the discussion, 2) to subscribe Craig to this post to see other replies, and 3) to warn other members who hate lots of pop ups.
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Old 09-19-2019, 07:12 PM   #12
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That definitely looks like what I call a "true Mexican" sauce. The toasting of the chiles, garlic, onions, and tomatoes, along with the "frying" of the sauce, are the things done in the best of the Mexican sauces.

Sometimes, to imitate the grilling or broiling of the tomatoes, when I don't need too many, I lightly char a couple tomatoes, then cut them up some, and MV them, just to cook them through, then blend them with the rest of the ingredients.
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Old 09-19-2019, 07:32 PM   #13
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I thought the answer served three purposes: 1) to explain why Craig wasn't participating in the discussion, 2) to subscribe Craig to this post to see other replies, and 3) to warn other members who hate lots of pop ups.
#3 was the main reason (and we do have a popup blocker), but #1 as well. Thanks Taxy for giving alternate reasons than the one assumed.
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Old 09-19-2019, 07:51 PM   #14
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Just curious and not a criticism, but your tortillas look pretty brown and crispy at the ends. Do you do that on purpose for texture? Reason why I'm asking is that the recipes in our Mexican cookbooks (1 by Diana Kennedy), Tex-Mex and various cooking shows have dipped the warmed tortillas in warm sauce before filling and rolling. They still get a bit brown and crispy on the ends, but nothing like what yours look like. Doing that also gives a little extra flavor since some of the sauce seeps into the tortilla.
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Old 09-19-2019, 09:05 PM   #15
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Let's please move on, shall we ?
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Old 09-19-2019, 09:16 PM   #16
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Thanks for sharing the recipe! I love Mexican food so I will have to try this out soon but first, I'm heading to FL so i won't have a chance to try this until the end of the month.
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Old 09-20-2019, 02:31 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by CharlieD View Post
do you happen to have your final version of the recipe in one recipe?
It would be so much easier than trying to fix the original recipe, read all in one place, all fixed up.

Thank you.

You asked for it Charlie, so here it is:


AUTHENTIC RED ENCHILADA SAUCE

Ingredients:

- 4 Ancho Chiles
- 8-10 Guajillo Chiles
- 1 medium Onion - quartered
- 2 Plum Tomatoes - quartered
- 2-3 garlic cloves - peeled
- 1 Tspn. oregano (mexican oregano preferred)
- 1 Tspn. marjoram
- 1 Tspn. tomato paste
- 1 Tspn. brown sugar
- 1 Tspn. cumin
- 1 medium chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (if you wish to kick the heat up a bit, but you may want to omit this on your first try)
- 1/2 Tspn. baking soda
- Salt to taste

- 2 T's cooking oil (for 'frying' the sauce at the tail end)

Preparation :


- Cut off the stem ends from all the chiles, split them open lengthwise with a paring knife, remove the seeds, and as much of the residual ribbing as possible.


- Toast both sides of the chiles in a pan on med./high heat for 10- 15 seconds max - this is important - anymore than 15 secs and you risk over-toasting them, which could cause your eventual sauce to have a bitter flavor.

You should be good though, because your puree will contain baking soda & sugar - 2 ingredients that are not called for in the original recipe, except to be used to eliminate or offset any bitterness from over-toasting.


There should be little or no smoke produced, and any aroma evident should be fragrant, not beginning to smell burnt.


- Place your pieces of onion, tomatoes, and the garlic cloves in a dry pan, tray, or skillet & blacken them up somewhat either on high stovetop heat, or @ 400 oven degrees or by using the broiler element until charred to a degree. Don't use a non-stick pan or skillet.


- Add the chiles and the charred veggies to a saucepan with only enough water (or chicken stock if you have some handy) to almost cover all the ingredients.


When the liquid comes to a boil, simmer for 15 minutes to reconstitute the dry toasted chiles and soften the veggies.


- Place the contents of this simmer into a blender along with all the spices, baking soda, the tomato paste, sugar & salt (and the chipotle pepper if using).


Blend for about a minute or 2, adding some water little by little, IF necessary to blend to a less thick puree.


- Strain the resulting puree well, pressing firmly on the pulp to extract as much flavor as possible. Discard the heavy pulp that remains in the strainer (this will mostly be pulverized chile skins which you don`t want in your sauce.)


If it seems too thick, add more water or chicken stock for a smoother texture, or conversely, if too runny, simmer it until it thickens up. The desired consistency should coat the back of a spoon and stick well.


- Once strained, pour the sauce into a suitable saucepan in which you`ve well heated the 2 T`s of cooking oil. Fry it on fairly high heat for a few minutes. Careful of any spattering - don`t get burned.


(Note: The original recipe claims that`` frying`` the sauce is key to developing rich flavor, so you may want to do this on your first attempt at making this sauce, but I have not found it to do anything much at all, so I regularly omit this step. )


Reduce heat and simmer the sauce for about 30 minutes, then allow to sit for 2 hours for the flavors to meld.



This recipe may take some trial & error to get it ``right``, so be patient and make a couple of attempts till it turns out the way you like it.


The sauce will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, and freezes well. Eventually you may want to double or triple the recipe.
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Old 09-20-2019, 04:00 PM   #18
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Paul, I noticed that you changed the pasilla chiles to guajillos. I'm sure both are good. Did you experiment, and tweak it to your favorite mix of chiles?
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Old 09-20-2019, 05:09 PM   #19
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Yes I did Dave.
I tried a number of different combinations, and my taste told me some anchos should be there so I kept them, but used less of them.


I then found that the guajillos - anchos combination had a more pleasing flavor, at least to me, than pasillas with anchos. And the guajillos seemed to produce a brighter colored, smoother red sauce, especially when I increased their number in the recipe.


So It was also more than just the mix of chile types, but also the reversed ratio of anchos vs. the other chile. I chopped the anchos suggested in the original recipe by half & more than doubled the number of the smaller chiles, the guajillos.


But that doesn't mean you or any others will feel the same way. If you make this red sauce a few times, try it different ways & see what you think.


The biggest eye-opener for me, after having used store-bought canned red sauces for many years, was the flavor that the reconstituted dry chiles brought to the dish of enchiladas vs. the benign canned stuff.
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Old 09-20-2019, 06:49 PM   #20
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In my corner of the world guajillos and anchos also have the advantage of being available in bulk at a reasonable price in Mexican grocery stores. Pasillas can only be found in small packages at five or ten times the price. And an aside that might further complicate the issue for some is that the big chain grocery stores including Kroger market poblanos as pasillas.
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