A long time ago, I called Mom's work to ask her to bring home some enchilada sauce (yep, canned). She wasn't available, but a lovely woman who worked with her started to take the message.
Heh. When she heard what I wanted, she said "Oh, no, no, no! Just make it from scratch!" And she gave me a recipe :-)
I've since moved to New Mexico, land of chiles, and have modified it somewhat (tho, really, not much!).
The key thing to keep in mind are the ratios: equal parts of flour, chile powder, and oil.
- 4 spoons of flour
- 3 spoons mild red chile powder
- 1 spoon hot red chile powder
- 1 spoon dried, ground cumin
Heat 4 spoons olive oil in a pot or deep pan on medium high. When "waves" appear in the oil,
stir in the powder a bit at a time. It should bubble.
I like a French whisk for this. Make sure to avoid the fumes.
When all the powder is stirred in, cook and stir a bit more to toast it. (If you've made roux, this is a familiar process)
Stir in several cups of water, mixing out any lumps, and avoiding the steam (seriously, avoid it!).
Reduce the heat to low; let the sauce cook to thicken and reduce, stirring occasionally. Between stirs, there will likely form a skin - just stir that back in.
This makes a fantastic base for chili, pozole, enchiladas, carne adovada, and...
Adjust the ratio of hot / mild to taste.
Add salt to taste.
Of course, you can always opt for the pre-made stuff (I have this, but haven't tried it...)