Wednesday, March 21, 2007

New Mexican Red Chile Sauce - Perfected!

Marc and I absolutely loved this recipe the first time we tried it but I always seem to find the need to tweak even my favourite recipes. Marc and I agreed that this is the best red enchilada sauce we've ever had, the restaurant versions we've had don't even compare anymore! It makes enough for 2 enchilada recipes so we use half and freeze the rest for the next time.

Many would argue that it isn't a TRUE enchilada sauce. I totally agree! A true enchilada sauce consists of soaking whole dried chilies (ancho, pasilla or guajillo) in boiling chicken stock or water so they become rehydrated and then pureeing until smooth (you can toast the dried chilies beforehand too for more flavour). But...a tomato based sauce serves it's purpose for us - we always have the ingredients on hand and it's super easy and fast to make. Also, depending on where you live (like us, in Montreal) we have very seasonal access to dried chilies and when we do they are exorbitantly priced! This way is just as delicious!

Making enchiladas is easy...we buy a small pre-cooked BBQ chicken at the grocery store, remove skin, and shred the breast meat. Spread 1 cup sauce over bottom of an 11 x 7-inch baking dish. Fill tortillas with shredded chicken and shredded cheese (Jalapeño Monterey Jack is our favourite). Roll and place in baking dish seam side down. Repeat until baking dish is full. Top with 1-2 cups sauce and then with a thin layer of shredded cheese. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. If you made the sauce in advance, add 10 minutes to your baking time.

New Mexican Red Chile Sauce
Cooking Light (Modified) - Original recipe here

1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
2 garlic clove, minced
1 can crushed tomatoes (28 oz.)
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon crushed chilies
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (14.5 oz.) can fat-free low-sodium chicken broth

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes. Add chili powder and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.


Laurie said...

This sauce looks great, I happened to be looking at enchilada sauce recipes today and I am glad I came across yours, and that it is from CL even makes it better and I will go with your tweaking of it as well.

Kristen said...

That sounds like a great enchilada sauce recipe. Into my recipe file it goes. Thanks!