Saturday, February 25, 2012

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

I am sure that I have shared this recipe already but I made some more today sauce today so I thought I would share for a variety of reasons.  First, I organized (moved stuff around) in the downstairs pantry the other day to see what items were left to try to figure out what we were going to have for our March meal plan.  In case you haven't seen the pantry in the basement (which very few have because my basement is a mess), our old kitchen cabinets were re-purposed to hold lots and lots of stuff in the basement.  I have one set aside for all the canned goods so that they aren't all in my kitchen putting weight in my new cabinets.

I know that it looks like a confusing mess to most but I do have a method to my madness.  The bottom right is all Campbell's soups (chicken noodle, cream of chicken and tomato), the second shelf on the right is the peanut butter and jelly.  There were some other sections like the salad dressing was on the bottom left but then I started to put the dressing that we used as marinates on the top shelf which I think confused the situation.  Anyway, in my "cleaning" I saw that a few of my tomato paste collection had a date of March 2012 so I figured that I should come up with a few recipes to use those before March which is right around the corner. Excited to put a use to my free organic tomato paste... I had a coupon :)
In case you can't tell in the picture above, the 2012 expiration are on the first shelf and the 2013 are on the second shelf so that I don't get confused and use a newer one first.  See method to madness :)  If you have any other recipes that use tomato paste, please send them my way because I think that I have 6-8 more cans to use before March and I don't think that I will need more enchilada sauce (although I might be making some anyway since they freeze so well). 

Long story to tell you that I decided to make enchilada sauce which is one of my biggest user of tomato paste.  There are tons of recipes online that use tomato sauce or other forms but I did a google search to use the items in the pantry and found one which I promptly changed to meet my needs.  I used to buy the cans of enchilada sauce but they aren't on sale very often and the coupons tend to be getting worse and worse so this recipe makes the sauce for pennies and hopefully a little healthier.  Normally, I mix the store bought enchilada sauce with a can of tomato paste (recommendation from my mother in law) to make it a little thicker, less spicy and make it go farther.  So when making the recipe, it made sense to incorporate that extra amount of tomato paste upfront in the recipe.  Since I had so many cans of tomato paste, I doubled the recipe which filled my pot to the top (note to self: don't do more then double or it won't fit into the pot).

Enchilada Sauce



·                        2 tbsp vegetable oil
·                        2 tbsp flour
·                        2 tbsp chili powder
·                        1/2 tsp cumin
·                        1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional which I don't use)
·                        2 cups water
·                        12 ounce can tomato paste (original recipe called for 8 oz.)
·                        1 tsp garlic powder
·                        1/2 tsp onion powder
·                        1/2 tsp salt
Heat the oil, flour and chili powder together in a large pot. Allow to cook for a minute or two.
Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a slow simmer. Stir well to combine and dissolve tomato paste in water. Allow to cook for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more spices as desired.
 Hope that you try this easy recipe to make some sauce for your family!!!  It is a great one to make on the weekend or at night after the little ones have gone to sleep.  Each batch makes enough for two pans of my enchiladas so if you do make it when you are making enchiladas, be prepared to store the "leftovers."  It freezes great so that you have everything ready to go when you make enchiladas the next time and as easy as opening the can from the store.  Check out these bags ready for the freezer.

Next project, clean out the freezer enough to fit these!!!  I should have defrosted but instead I kept filling.  My freezer always calls to me in March to defrost but it is also at it's most full.  I am trying to let it know that it is Frozen Food month which means that frozen food is on super good deals so it is a bad time to need to be defrosted.  I swore last year that I would defrost before March and it snuck up on me again!!  I need to put it on the calendar for January next year :)  Please remind me because I am going to have to eat everything in the freezer before defrosting so it might take until summer!!!!

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