I like Mexican food because you can put so many fresh items on top of it to cover what otherwise would be a rather bland combination of meats, chiles, tortillas and mashed beans.
The combination may not be all that appealing by itself, but with a lively sauce and fresh produce it transforms into a light and fresh dish.
Even though I’ve worked to develop this sauce and prefer it to commercial offerings, some may wonder why anyone would go to the trouble of making their own sauce when a can of the stuff would work just as well.
Believe me, I understand. I’ve even been known to use canned sauce when we were in a hurry to get to a baseball game. Those of you who prefer the taste of a canned enchilada sauce can add any of the hot sauces that are on the market to the recipe below if what you’re missing is zing.
I always serve Mexican with a cayenne-based sauce.
4 tomatoes, peeled, cored, chopped
1 serrano chile, cored,
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Bring a large pan of water to boil. While waiting for the water to boil, cut the stem out of the top of your tomatoes and a shallow “X” in the bottom and up the sides.
Prepare a large ice-water bath. Drop tomatoes in the boiling water for three to four minutes. Tomatoes will begin floating to the surface when ready to come out of the hot water. Place in ice water to stop cooking and make them easier to handle.
Using your thumb, peel away the tomato skin and then plunge it into the opening at the top of your tomato to force out all the seeds. Place the seeded, peeled tomatoes in a food processor with the serrano chili, onion and garlic. Pulse a few times to combine, but leave a little texture.
Heat oil in a large skillet and add tomato mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper and allow to thicken and reduce for five minutes. Cover and keep warm.