Is making the homemade Hatch Red Enchilada Sauce verses the store bought, really worth the extra effort? One thing for sure is that not all the store bought enchilada sauces are the same. Looking closely they all use similar ingredients but the big factor is all about the flavor profile differences. This prompted me to see if making a homemade enchilada sauce is worth the effort.
Lessons to be learned
In the past I have made many different southwestern red sauces, using all different types of chilies. I love hot sauces, that was my biggest mistake. Most of my red sauces was so hot they overpowered the foods. Lessons to be learned save my super hot chilies for the hot sauces, but not in the red enchilada sauce.
Where to start
First thing to start when you are looking to make enchilada sauce, is the chilies. So this prompted me to use Hatch Dry Red Chilies. Why Hatch Chilies? Well Hatch New Mexico is the Red Chili Capital of USA. They produce most of the Red Chilies, they are so famous that they have Chili festivals every year. These New Mexican Red Chilies are mild and flavorful, perfect for making enchilada sauces.
Next is choosing the right companion chilies, this is where I always made my mistakes. I use some of my super hot chilies that would peel the paint off the wall, that’s not a good match. So this time tried ancho chilies which have a good depth of flavor without all the heat. The red sauce turns out darker in color but with a more deep complex flavor. Giving the sauce a wonderful flavor profile. Making this a perfect companionship to enchilada sauce.
Over the many of tries in making enchilada sauces, key is to have the right aromatics. Again in the past I always put too many aromatics and messed up the end flavors. So this time kept simple, using just garlic, onions, cumin, chipotle pepper for smoky flavor, salt and pepper.