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Rio Enchilada Sauce

Living in Texas, Mexican food–technically “TexMex” after we put our Tejas spin on it–is a staple in our family’s diet. Enchiladas are always popular and surprisingly versatile. They can be filled with ground beef, chopped chicken, shredded pork, cheese, vegetables, or even fish. However, the secret to great enchiladas isn’t what’s inside, it’s the sauce. There’re many recipes and techniques for making this time-honored sauce. After a lot of kitchen trials, I’ve replicated one from a favorite South Texas restaurant of ours.


2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. onion powder

1 Tbsp. cumin

2 Tbsp. mild chili powder

2 tsp. salt

6 Tbsp. flour

4 cups chicken broth

1 8 oz. can tomato sauce

1. Set all measured ingredients out before you begin.

2. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat, add first five ingredients and stir (I use a whisk) until blended and fragrant.

3. Slowly add flour, stirring constantly. Mixture will become very thick, creating a roux. If it becomes too thick, add another tablespoon of oil. The longer you cook the roux, the darker and stronger the spices will become. I prefer the sauce lighter, but you can use your preference here.

4. Slowly add broth and tomato sauce, continuing to stir until well blended. Once temperature comes back up, taste and adjust spices to your liking.

5. Turn heat to low and simmer for at least an hour, watch and stir occasionally. If sauce becomes too thick, add additional chicken stock in small increments.


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