Had I known how easy it was to make enchilada sauce, I would have made it years ago. Or, at least, I would have tried before now. On my recent excursion to Isla Mujeres, Mexico, I had the opportunity to sample freshly made enchilada sauce made by Oscar, a chef and friend of my friend Lori.
As we walked into the kitchen, he was stirring a bubbling red sauce, which emitted the most delicious aroma. He offered me a taste, and what hit me was pure beauty. A hint of smoky-hot pepper, the sweetness of tomato, and the subtle flavor of garlic and onions. It didn’t hurt that the ocean breeze was wafting through the kitchen door.
Six ingredients? Blended and cooked? It’s that easy. And it still had the same dreamy flavor at home, even though what wafted through the kitchen door as I was making it last night was a frigid blast of cold Wisconsin winter air. Oh, and he also dipped each tortilla in the sauce, coating it before filling and rolling, and grilling them.
Oscar’s Guajillo Enchilada Sauce
- 4-6 whole dried Guajillo chiles
- 2 T canola oil
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 medium onion
- tomato (3-4 whole, or 14-20 oz. canned, depending on heat preference)
- Boil the peppers in water. I added them into a stockpot,which I filled with water and boiled a whole chicken in. Take out chicken when done, and use for filling enchiladas.
- Remove boiled peppers and drain out seeds (or strain later).
- Add to blender with onion, garlic, tomato (this will temper heat, so you can adjust tomatoes and peppers to your taste.) and salt. Blend until pureed.
- Heat oil in stock pot or low-rimmed sauce pan.
- Add pureed sauce into pan, simmering for about 10 – 15 minutes, until thickened. Adjust salt to taste.
- Strain sauce if desired (I didn’t).
Dip each tortilla into sauce to coat before filling. I used plain boiled chicken (with salt and oregano), but you can experiment.
Top with cheese and bake through.