I skipped the sautée step and omitted the oil Sauce was all I had on hand so I used a standard sized can and just enough water to rinse out the can. To this water, I added a small splash of liquid Au jus concentrate. I omitted the "Italian"- type seasonings. Had I any oregano, I would have used some; ditto cocoa or baking chocolate. For spices I used two or three heaping teaspoons of chili powder and an equal amount of ground cumin, one or two heaping teaspoons of onion powder, a heaping teaspoon of dry minced garlic, some chili-lime salt- a good few shakes, some white pepper, a dash of cinnamon and salted with garlic salt. I used a three-ounce individual snack-size cup of salsa because I had it on hand and perhaps an 8th of a cup of my "special" salsa (purchased from a Cuban restaurant on my birthday) for it's distinctive smoky flavor. Following the suggestions of previous reviewers, I used my stick blender for a smooth texture and added a bay leaf to the mix- which was really quite thick, after transferring to a covered small saucepan over medium low heat. I also added a scant teaspoon of turbinado sugar after everything was in the pan and cooking to sort of soften the taste of all of the spices. If it's still too strongly spiced, I will probably add a second can of sauce. Made sauce to accompany crockpot enchilada casserole. I think that this recipe is a good jumping off point for experimentation. Will likely make again and continue tinkering.
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I skipped the sautée step and omitted the oil Sauce was all I had on hand so I used a standard...