Are you a fan of enchiladas but find the sauce too spicy?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many people struggle with the heat level of canned enchilada sauce. Luckily, there are several ways to tone down the spiciness without sacrificing flavor.
In this article, we’ll explore some easy and effective methods for making enchilada sauce less spicy. From adding dairy to incorporating acidic ingredients, we’ve got you covered.
So, let’s dive in and discover how to enjoy your favorite Mexican dish without the burn.
How To Make Enchilada Sauce Less Spicy?
Enchilada sauce is a key component of the popular Mexican dish, but it can be overwhelming for those who don’t enjoy spicy food. Fortunately, there are several ways to make enchilada sauce less spicy.
One simple solution is to use less of the sauce. By reducing the amount of sauce used, you can still enjoy the flavors of the dish without the intense heat. You can also balance out the spiciness by adding toppings like lettuce, sour cream, bell peppers, guacamole, refried beans, rice, and other fresh veggies.
If you’ve already made your enchilada sauce and find it too hot, there are a few things you can do to tone down the heat. One effective method is to add dairy products like sour cream or yogurt to the sauce. These ingredients help to neutralize the spiciness and create a creamier texture.
Another option is to add acidic ingredients like tomatoes, onions, or beans to the sauce. These ingredients help to dilute the spiciness and make the sauce less intense. You can also add a bit of sugar to balance out the heat.
If you’re looking for a more authentic flavor, you can make your own enchilada sauce from scratch. To do this, sauté dried spices like cumin and Mexican oregano in oil to bring out their rich flavors. Then, add tomato paste and broth to create a base for your sauce. You can adjust the spice level by adding more or less chili powder or red pepper flakes.
Understanding The Heat Scale Of Enchilada Sauce
Enchilada sauce is typically made with chili peppers, which are known for their heat. The heat level of the sauce can vary depending on the type of chili peppers used and how much of them are included in the recipe.
The heat of chili peppers is measured on the Scoville scale, which ranges from 0 to over 2 million Scoville heat units (SHU). For reference, a bell pepper has a Scoville rating of 0, while a habanero pepper can range from 100,000 to 350,000 SHU.
When it comes to enchilada sauce, some of the most common peppers used include ancho, guajillo, and chipotle. Ancho peppers are on the milder side and have a Scoville rating of around 1,000 to 2,000 SHU. Guajillo peppers are slightly hotter, with a rating of around 2,500 to 5,000 SHU. Chipotle peppers are made from smoked jalapenos and have a rating of around 5,000 to 10,000 SHU.
It’s important to note that the heat level of enchilada sauce can also be affected by other ingredients in the recipe. For example, adding more chili powder or red pepper flakes will increase the heat level, while adding dairy or sugar will help to balance it out.
Understanding the heat scale of enchilada sauce can help you choose the right recipe or make adjustments to the spice level based on your personal preference. By experimenting with different ingredients and techniques, you can create a delicious enchilada sauce that is just the right amount of spicy for you.
Adding Dairy To Reduce Spiciness
One of the most effective ways to reduce the spiciness of enchilada sauce is to add dairy products like sour cream or yogurt. These ingredients help to neutralize the heat and create a creamier texture. To use this method, simply add a dollop of sour cream or yogurt to your sauce and stir until it’s fully combined.
Dairy products contain casein, a protein that helps to break down the capsaicin molecules that cause the spiciness in peppers. This makes them an excellent choice for reducing the heat in spicy dishes like enchilada sauce.
In addition to sour cream and yogurt, you can also use other dairy products like milk or cheese to reduce the spiciness of your sauce. For example, you can add a bit of shredded cheese to your sauce and stir until it’s melted and fully combined. This will create a richer, creamier sauce that’s less spicy.
When using dairy products to reduce spiciness, it’s important to keep in mind that they can also add a bit of tanginess or sweetness to the sauce. This can be a good thing if you’re looking for a more complex flavor profile, but if you want to keep your sauce simple, you may want to use other methods like adding acidic ingredients or reducing the amount of spice used.
Incorporating Acidic Ingredients To Mellow The Heat
Another effective way to make enchilada sauce less spicy is by incorporating acidic ingredients. Acidic substances like lemon or lime juice, vinegar, wine, tomatoes, and even pineapple can help to balance out the pH of a spicy oil. These ingredients can be added in small amounts to the sauce until the desired level of spiciness is achieved.
To incorporate acidic ingredients into your enchilada sauce, start by making the sauce as you normally would. Once the sauce is prepared, add a small amount of the acidic ingredient of your choice and stir well. Taste the sauce and adjust the amount of acid as needed until you reach your desired level of spiciness.
Keep in mind that adding too much acid can make the sauce too sour or tangy, so it’s important to add it gradually and taste as you go. Adding acidic ingredients can also change the texture and color of the sauce, so be mindful of this as well.
Using Sweeteners To Balance The Flavors
In addition to adding dairy and acidic ingredients, sweeteners can also help to balance out the flavors of enchilada sauce. Adding a pinch of sugar, honey, or agave syrup can help to counteract the spiciness and create a more well-rounded taste.
However, it’s important to use sweeteners in moderation. Too much sugar can overpower the other flavors in the sauce and make it overly sweet. Start with a small amount and adjust to taste.
Another option is to use natural sweeteners like fruit juice or pureed fruit. Pineapple juice, for example, can add a subtle sweetness to the sauce while also providing an acidic flavor to balance out the spiciness.
When using sweeteners in enchilada sauce, it’s important to consider the other flavors in the dish. If you’re using sweet fillings like sweet potatoes or corn, you may want to use less sweetener in the sauce to avoid making the dish too sweet overall.
Experimenting With Different Spices And Herbs
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can experiment with different spices and herbs to create a unique and flavorful enchilada sauce. Cilantro is a popular herb used in Mexican cuisine and can add a fresh and bright flavor to your sauce. However, if you’re not a fan of cilantro, you can try using parsley, basil, or even mint for a different twist.
In addition to herbs, you can also play around with different spices to create a more complex flavor profile. Smoked paprika can add a smoky and earthy taste to your sauce, while coriander adds a slightly sweet and citrusy flavor. Chipotle powder or adobo sauce can add a smoky and spicy kick to your sauce, while cinnamon can give it a warm and comforting taste.
When experimenting with spices and herbs, it’s important to start with small amounts and taste as you go. This way, you can adjust the flavors to your liking without overpowering the dish with too much spice or herb. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try new combinations – you might just discover your new favorite enchilada sauce recipe!
Adjusting The Heat Level Gradually
If you want to adjust the heat level of your enchilada sauce gradually, there are a few methods you can try. One effective approach is to add small amounts of acidic ingredients like lemon or lime juice, vinegar, wine, or even pineapple. These ingredients help to neutralize the pH levels of the spicy oil and reduce some of the heat. Start by adding a teaspoon of lemon or lime juice to your sauce and taste it before adding more. You can also chop up some fresh tomatoes or pineapple and add no more than 1/4 cup at a time.
Another way to gradually adjust the heat level is by adding dairy-based toppings like soured cream or yogurt. These ingredients help to cool down the spice level and create a creamier texture. You can also add a bit of sugar to balance out the heat.
If you’re making a large batch of enchilada sauce, you can divide it into smaller portions and adjust the spice level gradually in each portion. This allows you to experiment with different levels of spiciness until you find the perfect balance for your taste buds.
Finally, if all else fails, you can dilute the spiciness by adding more of the other ingredients in the recipe, such as beans, cheese, or chicken. This helps to tone down the spice without compromising on flavor.