Thursday, November 01, 2007

Canned Enchilada Sauce? We Don't Need no stinking Canned Enchilada Sauce!

I recently made enchiladas for a client who is not big on enchiladas, and made a believer out of her!

The actual enchilada recipe is the wickedly good one from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, featuring a savory, slightly sweet, velvety mixture of goat cheese, toasted pine nuts, golden raisins and sweet corn.

The sauce however, is my own creation, and it got rave reviews so I thought I'd post it. It takes a bit of work but it's worth it. Bring your patience and your spice grinder, and of course, your appetite!

First, take about 6 fat cloves of garlic and don't peel them. Heat up a dry skillet.

Roast the garlic in the pan until it's blackened all over. Then let it cool and peel it. Throw it into the food processor or blender.

Now, roast these spices, one at a time, in the same hot skillet:

-about 1 1/2 t. cumin seeds
-about 1/4 t. black peppercorns
- about 1/4 t. whole cloves

Take the spices and grind them, one at a time, in a spice grinder (or very clean coffee grinder).

Now, pour the spicy goodness into the food processor where your garlic is waiting.

Now, add some ancho chile powder (as much or little as you like, depending on heat - I used about 1 teaspoon) and a pinch or two of dried oregano.

Now pour in a teeny bit of water or vegetable or chicken stock, just enough to wet it so it'll make a paste when you process it.

Heat a small amount of olive oil in a sauce pan and scrape the paste into the pan and stir constantly for a few minutes. Doesn't that smell good?!

Now you're ready to add a little more stock (maybe about a cup) and one 14 oz. can of tomato sauce (I like Muir Glenn organic).

Simmer for a little while to blend flavors, add salt to taste and if you like it more spicy, add more ancho chile powder.

It's a little time consuming, but very good! I advise making a double or triple batch and freezing what you don't use.


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