Monday, November 7, 2011

Homemade, Made Better

With a recipe for homemade enchilada sauce!

This is my nephew.

If you don't spend a lot of time around kids, you might not know that Halloween is VERY IMPORTANT and has to be done just right. When I was a kid, my mom made or cobbled together almost all of our costumes. Most costumes these days come from the store.

So my nephew was not too excited that, when my sister and I couldn't find him a Mariners shirt to wear (because the second baseball is over all the stores must switch to FOOTBALL ONLY, apparently) we would make him a shirt.

But he had to be Ichiro and no other sports figure for the big night, or he WAS NOT going to trick or treat. And so we just made the shirt and hoped for the best (it was an iron-on that we made in the printer). Pretty good, huh? And much more meaningful, at least to my sister and I, than it would have been if we bought it. All of the other bits of the costume are my nephew's baseball gear from summer ball - yay for reusing and not filling a landfill with another nylon costume made in China!

Since that homemade experiment had a happy ending, I decided to try another one. I had this idea that I would make enchilada sauce. But I had no recipe and I've never made sauce before except for the famous Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter from Smitten Kitchen.

And you know what? It was awesome, and I don't really ever want the storebought kind again, especially because, as always true with homemade, I get more control over whether the ingredients are good for me and the planet.

So here it is:

Tomato Curry Enchilada Sauce
(this is a little bit of an Indian-Mexican fusion)

1 tbsp. olive oil
One medium onion, diced
Ginger, about an inch long, minced
One large (28 oz) can of diced tomatoes
Curry powder
Garlic powder or minced garlic
Ancho chili powder (or regular)
One regular-sized (14 oz) can of light coconut milk
Note: You will also need a blender or something similar

Step 1: Heat the olive oil in a sauce pot. (Hey, I just got why it's called a sauce pot! You make sauce in it!). Add onion and ginger. When the onion starts to get translucent, add 1 tsp. of curry powder and garlic or garlic powder according to your taste.

Step 2: Put the canned tomatoes in the blender. Add the onion mixture. Puree away!

Step 3: Here's the part that's sort of up to your taste. Add about 1 tsp. of curry, chili, pepper and cumin, and 1/3 c. of the coconut milk. Stir, and then taste - don't burn your tongue! Want it spicier? Add more chili. More "Mexican-style" - add more cumin. Want it creamier? Add more coconut milk. Keep adding until it tastes just right to you. (I added about half the can of coconut milk, 2 tsp. more of curry and about 2 tsp. more of chili, plus a bit of cayenne).

Step 4: Bring to a boil and then cover. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 min.

Step 5: Remove from heat and let stand at least 15 minutes to thicken.

You can use the sauce on your favorite enchiladas!

These are butternut squash ans spinach filled, with some cilantro and some chopped cashews on top.

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