Hol-ay Mol-ay! (sorry)

Warning: What you are about to read may be disturbing and unsettling to some readers. It has been rated OMG.

Until tonight, I’ve never had mole sauce.

Please, before you throw your computer out the nearest window, let me explain. I’m not even entirely sure I knew what it was until this year. And I’m not even going to start on how I thought it was pronounced. This isn’t helping is it? When it came down to it, I was intimidated by the ingredient list, the lengthy process and the actual flavor outcome. A chocolate Mexican sauce? Really? But after extensively researching roughly 437 recipe variations, I came up with a slightly more simple version, taking bits and pieces of what seem to be key ingredients from other recipes. Chicken enchiladas with mole sauce was the outcome and I have to say, I high-fived myself more than once tonight. Yea, like I actually clapped my hands together in the air, giggling uncontrollably while Aaron just stared at me, wondering if I really put “mexican oregano” in the sauce. I’ll never tell.

Chicken Enchiladas with Mole Sauce:

What it took for 2 adults:

* 6 dried ancho chiles, seeds and stems removed and soaked in boiling water for 20 minutes

* 1 can of stewed tomatoes, or homemade (recipe below)

* 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

* 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

* 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

* 1 tsp. Mexican oregano

* 1 1/2 oz dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)

* 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded

* 6 whole wheat flour tortillas

* 1/2 can red enchilada sauce

* 2 Tbs. favorite taco seasoning

* 2 garlic cloves

* 2 cups aged white cheddar cheese

* 1 cup cilantro leaves

* salt and pepper, to taste

To start, stew your tomatoes. This is simple. Chop up 2 pounds of plum tomatoes (we seriously had some from our garden to use. I know.) On the lowest heat setting, simmer tomatoes for 15 minutes, covered. Add 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, 2 tsp. sugar and 1 Tbs. butter. Let simmer for 45 more minutes.

While the tomatoes are stewing, you can be softening the ancho chiles in the boiling water.

In a food processor, wizz together the stewed tomatoes with the 2 garlic cloves. Set aside.

In a small skillet, toast the cinnamon, pumpkin seeds, pepper and oregano until fragrant, about 5 minutes.

Back in the cleaned food processor, blend the ancho chiles, water and toasted nuts and spices until it forms a paste.

In a small saucepan, combine the tomatoes and ancho mixture and add the dark chocolate. Let simmer and stir occasionally for about 20 minutes.

In a bowl, combine the shredded chicken with the taco seasoning and canned enchilada sauce. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

In a 9 x 13 baking dish, spoon some of the mole sauce, covering the bottom.

Microwave the tortillas for 30 seconds to soften them. Place shredded chicken in each tortilla and top with a few cilantro leaves. Roll up and place wraps seam-side down in the baking dish. Spoon the rest of the mole sauce over the enchiladas, cover with cheese and bake for about 20 minutes, until cheese is brown and bubbly.

Serve with cilantro leaves on top!  I’m still giggling.

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