Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Best Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Enchilada sauce is very easy to make, and once you've tasted it you'll never want the canned store-bought stuff again. It's perfect not just for enchiladas, but also for nachos, tamales, dribbled over tacos, burritos, huevos con chorizo or as a base for chile con carne-- you get the picture. I like to use it as a base for a delicious red sopa de albondigas, too. Really, its uses are endless. This may be the most versatile Mexican dish you ever make.

This is a basic recipe I've been using for years. You can customize it to your family's tastes, of course, but I think it's pretty much perfect as is. Of course, I might be biased.

Makes about 3 Cups

  • 4 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 6 Tbsp flour
  • 4 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Mexican oregano powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon (really, just a tiny amount)
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 3 Cups chicken broth (can use water, in a pinch)


Pour the vegetable oil into a saucepan over medium heat and whisk in all the dry ingredients. Cook for about 1 (one) minute, whisking the whole time, until everything is thoroughly mixed. Be careful not to let it burn.

Now add the 3 cups of chicken broth, whisking steadily the whole time so no lumps form. Cook over medium heat until the sauce has thickened to the consistency of a thin gravy, stirring constantly. This takes just a few minutes. Remove from heat, and it's ready to go!

Once in a while I'll add about 1/2 tsp. of cocoa powder to give it a bit of a mole flavor. Don't overdo it-- a little bit goes a long way.

Buen provecho!

If you have a favorite recipe for a Mexican or Mexican-inspired dish, I'd love to add it to our recipe box! email (and put "recipe" in the subject box so I'll know what it's about)