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Friday, May 28, 2010

Enchilada Sauce - We're Not In Mexico Anymore

When Jon came home and told me that we were moving to Buenos Aires, my first question showcased my complete ignorance in the geography of South America when I asked, "Is it sort of near Mexico?". The answer, of course, is no, it's not. Argentina is actually extremely not close to Mexico - in more than just location. I'm pleased to report that I'm not the only person fuzzy on their south-of-the-border geography. (No one really learns about South America in school, right? I know I didn't.) Many times we're asked how the food in Argentina is, and generally people then expect to hear all about the wonderful Mexican fare. Nope. It's virtually impossible to find anything spicy, and an even greater feat to find good Mexican food. So, I had to expand my culinary comfort zone to encompass making my own enchilada sauce. This recipe come from my new favorite cookbook, The Low Fat Way to Cook, (and it's available from Amazon for under $2.00, total bargain of the year) and definitely beats the last recipe I used from Emeril Lagassi which cause both Jon and I to profusely sweat during the meal (insert Along Came Polly quote). I love to cook ahead and freeze extras, so I made a double batch of sauce, mas facil para mas tarde. Note: I cannot find chili powder at the stores in Argentina, this is one of my smuggle efforts from the US. If anyone knows where to find chili powder in Capital Federal, I'm all ears.

Enchilada Sauce
Nonstick cooking spray
1 1/2 T. light margarine
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
2 T. all-purpose flour
2 c. water
1/2 tomato sauce or puree
1 T. chili powder
1 T. hot chili powder (I used "Hot Mexican Style" chili powder by McCormicks)
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. dried oregano
1/8 t. ground cumin

Vampires beware
  1. Coat a medium saucepan with cooking spray, then melt margarine over medium heat. Once melted, add minced garlic (the finer mince, the better) and sauté until tender.
  2. Add flour, stirring until smooth, cook 1 minute. Note: I can never seem to get my flour to go smooth. I remedy this by using a whisk to stir the mixture later on, helping break up the inevitable lumps.
  3. Combine water and remaining ingredients, then add to flour mixture, stirring constantly. Bring pan to a boil, then reduce heat and allow mixture to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep that weird film from forming over the liquid. We are thick-sauce kind of people so I left the sauce to simmer a bit longer than 15 minutes - longer the simmer=thicker the sauce.
  4. Here is where you would normally go on to make enchiladas. I wasn't in an enchilada mood, so I portioned the sauce into 3 containers to freeze for later use. Eazy peazy.

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