Maggie Cooper's easy enchilada sauce.
Maggie Cooper's easy enchilada sauce. 123rf

Easy enchiladas good way to join the Mexican wave

Mexican dishes are a staple in many homes these days, and with good reason. They're usually easy to prepare and can often be made with ingredients you already have in your pantry.

I love enchiladas; you can make them reasonably healthy if you avoid too much melted cheese.

It's tempting to buy a can of sauce to make this simple dish, but home-made is so much better and you can control the amount of salt and sugar you add (there's often way too much in shop-bought versions).

You can double the recipe when making this easy enchilada sauce and freeze half to use later. Then all you have to do is thaw it and add it to the meat and vegetables of your choice and you have a meal in a jiffy.

I make this with fresh tomatoes when they are in season, but you can cheat and use a can of good quality crushed tomatoes in juice at this time of year.

EASY ENCHILADA SAUCE

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup olive oil; 1/4 cup plain flour; 410g can crushed Italian tomatoes; 1 hot long red chilli, seeded and minced or 1 tbsp dried chilli flakes; 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano; 1 tsp ground cumin seeds; 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed; 1 tsp onion powder; 1 tbsp packed brown sugar; 1 cup water; salt and pepper, to taste

METHOD

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat and gradually add flour, stirring until combined.

Add crushed tomatoes (with juice), chilli or chilli flakes, oregano, cumin, garlic and onion powder. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Stir in sugar and water and bring to the boil; cover and reduce heat to a simmer and cook for around 10 minutes or until reduced and thickened slightly. Taste and adjust seasoning; you might like to add more chilli for more heat.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks, or freeze for up to three months.

maggies.column@bigpond.com



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