Thursday, July 12, 2012

El Fenix Enchilada "Gravy"

The other half had a craving for beef enchiladas the other day.  He makes a pretty good version using canned sauce.  But I had a hankering for cheese and onion enchiladas about the same time and decided I wanted them El Fenix-style.  (For those of you out of the Dallas area, El Fenix is a decades-old family run restaurant here in town.  Not the best food in the world, but quintessential Tex-Mex.)

Scoured the Internet for a copy cat recipe of their enchilada sauce and found this one.  It gets pretty close...mine was a little darker both in look and taste, but I think that's probably because I was using some really high-quality chili powder.  Next time, I'll experiment with that particular ingredient to see if I can get it closer.

In the meantime, this one is worth a try.  Those of you who are El Fenix aficionados, test it for me and let me know what you think in the comments below.

El Fenix Chili Gravy for Enchiladas
Makes enough for a full casserole of enchiladas

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon mexican oregano (optional, but very much worth using if you have)
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 cups chicken broth  (I might try beef broth next time.)

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-hi ghheat. Stir in flour and continue stirring for 3 - 4 minutes until it makes a light brown roux. Add all remaining dry ingredients and continue to cook for 1 minute, constantly stirring and blending the ingredients. Add chicken broth, mixing and stirring until the sauce begins to thicken. Turn heat to low and let sauce simmer for 15 minuntes. Add water as necessary if sauce becomes to thick. (Consistency should be like a gravy).

And you do know how to make enchiladas, right?  For cheese-onion, put some grated cheese and minced onion on a corn tortilla you've softened in some hot oil or chicken broth.  Roll, place seam-side down in a baking dish and cover with the sauce and some additional cheese.  Bake at 350° for 30 minutes until cooked through and bubbling.  To make beef enchiladas, sauté some chopped onion and ground beef in a pan until browned.  Add a little taco seasoning if you'd like but it's not critical.  Assemble just like you do the cheese-onion enchiladas.


1 comment:

Jim Hall said...

i made this gravy today in New York. I wonder if that is against the LAW???? Gosh I need to go home to Texas. The gravy turned out great enchiladas tonight while it is snowing.... Last year when I was home in Texas I stopped by the downtown restaurant and was lucky enough to be able to remove a OLD BRICK out of the road in front of El Fenix. The original roadway from back into the early 1890's. The same day I was in McKinney and sure enough as they were replacing part of Virginia Road downtown and was able to find another 1890 vintage brick from the old roadway.
Great food great finds what could be better. Enjoy the gravy. Becareful if you double or triple the size you need to make sure you have a large enough skillet or pan as you cook it down .
The lost Texan