June 27

Enchilada Sauce

This recipe really should be a no-brainer. I mean, it’s some of the most basic ingredients ever, and if you don’t have them all in your kitchen, you should be ashamed of yourself. If you don’t have these ingredients in your cupboards, you should probably stock up on them the next time you go shopping, just because they’re some of the biggest keystone ingredients for all sorts of recipes.

So let’s assume, like me, you have them all.

I don’t even remember what I was looking for on the internet the other day, but I came across yet another Pioneer Woman recipe that I wanted to try with my own added flair. This time, they were shrimp tacos. I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever had a shrimp taco in my entire life. I’m not a huge fan of seafood/fish in Spanish food. That’s just my personal preference. But something about this recipe made me think, “Oh man, I gotta try this.” She makes mention of using Mexican red sauce in the recipe, but enchilada sauce could be used as a substitute. I remember seeing a can of enchilada sauce in the back of the cupboard and I knew this experiment was a-go for me.

I had originally wanted to make this for dinner last night, but we decided to head to the movies to see World War Z and I went full fat ass and got myself a Nathan’s hot dog and had quite a few handfuls of buttery, delicious popcorn. I knew I shouldn’t have, but ah well. So shrimp tacos for dinner tonight. The more I thought in my head about what else I would like to add to the tacos (shrimp, slaw, and avocado just isn’t enough for us), I started thinking about how gross that particular can of enchilada sauce is. It’s such a simple concoction – tomato sauce, a broth, spices. Who needs all that other crap that’s in the can? I started another experiment. One that involves coming up with an enchilada sauce that would turn out to be a happy, healthy substitution for the crap in a can.

What I came up with, I’m pretty happy about. It definitely took some tinkering as it was simmering in the pot to figure out just the right taste.

And seriously, this is the easiest thing to make and is so worth doing it. It’ll keep for up to a week in the fridge or you can freeze the extras for a handful of months.

Also, sauce is a very odd thing to try to photograph. Just sayin’.


Enchilada Sauce

Enchilada Sauce


8 ounces tomato sauce
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (more if you like it spicier)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin


1. In a sauce pot, warm oil over medium heat and combine flour and chili powder, whisking constantly to form a paste. Make sure to continue whisking away, so the roux doesn’t clump up.

2. Slowly add in part of the tomato sauce. Still whisk away. If you find the roux and tomato sauce aren’t completely blending, another squirt of olive oil should do the trick.

3. Combine the rest of the tomato sauce and the chicken broth in the pot. Mix until completely blended, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom for any lingering bits that might have stuck or clumped up.

4. Combine spices with the sauce.

5. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Half way through the simmering, give it a taste and make sure it’s to your liking. You might prefer to add more salt or more spice or cumin. This recipe was just right for us.