Tag Archive | Mexican

Mole Sauce with Enchiladas


Disclaimer: I think this recipe still needs some work. I made it according to my directions and it’s not how i meant it to be.

Tidbits:

 I first had this mole sauce on a recent trip to New York at a GREAT Mexican restaurant that someone recommended (Aprovecho), and given that I don’t know of any restaurants around me that serve it  I decided I had to learn how to make it.

There are lots of different moles and I’m not even sure what derivation this would be considered, but it has cocoa powder in it which gives it a rich brown color and gives it a spicy and sweet combo that’s just delicious! Traditional/ authentic mole apparently has 20+ ingredients and takes hours, if  not days, to make. Given that I don’t have that amount of time I tried to find some shortcuts. So I am no mole expert, but I thought this was pretty good. As far as spice goes, I prefer things on the less spicy side, so the recipe is based on that, and then there are some suggestions to make it spicier if you prefer. In addition to serving this over enchiladas, you can also just spread some on tacos, burritos, etc. In the pictures I have it served over enchiladas (top) and  chile rellenos (bottom). The recipe for chile rellenos will follow soon.  The sauce gets even better after it sits for a day or two, so feel free to make it ahead. It also freezes well and is worth making a double batch.

Ingredients:

Mole Sauce

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion (I use red), finely chopped (especially if you aren’t going to put in food processor, which I highly recommend)

4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp garlic salt or garlic powder

2 tbsp chili powder

3 tbsp all-purpose flour

4 cups (32 oz) vegetable broth (I used chicken broth once and it just wasn’t as good to me, so I don’t recommend that substitution)

1 dried pepper, medium spicy (they sell these in clear plastic bags at places like Fresh Market or Ward’s if you live in Gainesville. See picture below). If you can’t find it, replace with ~ 1 tsp of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes, and of course add more if you like things really spicy

1 14 oz can diced tomatoes

3 tbsp cocoa powder

3 heaping tbsp of light brown sugar

Salt and Pepper

Enchiladas

6-8 large soft flour tacos or small burrito sized (about 7′ diameter)

1 green pepper

1 onion

1 can black beans

Shredded cheese  of your choice

Mexican seasonings (fajita seasoning, cumin, garlic, etc)

Directions:

Mole

1. Heat oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat

2. Add onion, garlic, oregano, cumin, cinnamon, and garlic salt and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally

3. Mix in chili powder and flour, stir for three minutes (add your other spices here too, if you aren’t using the dried pepper)

4. Slowly whisk in broth and increase heat to medium high

5. Add the whole dried pepper and can of diced tomatoes

6. Boil until it is reduced into  half to 2/3 of the liquid you started with (about 35-45 minutes),stirring occasionally. The sauce may still seem thin at this point, but once you add the cocoa powder, sugar, and then run through the food processor it will become thicker.

7. Remove from heat

8. Remove the dried pepper and if you want to you can put a few slices back in for extra spice

9. Whisk in the cocoa powder and brown sugar. (I’ve read that you can substitute 2 oz. of chopped dark chocolate instead)

10. Season with salt and pepper

11. Put the sauce in the food processor for a few seconds, until you have a smooth consistency

12. Pour the sauce over whatever sounds good, or the enchiladas described below

Enchiladas

During the 30 minutes that your sauce is reducing you can start to make whatever you want to put it on. Here’s how I make the enchiladas for this dish, but you can put whatever you want inside including beef or chicken.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Warm the black beans and cook your veggies/meat as desired. I cook my veggies in an omelette pan on medium high heat for a 3-4 minutes and season with fajita seasoning, garlic salt, and cumin (similar things to the mole sauce).

3. Warm the tortillas one of 2 ways. Either way, do one at a time.

a: Unhealthy but delicious: In an omelet pan, heat about 1/8 in deep canola or olive oil over medium heat. Place one tortilla in the oil for about 5 seconds on each side. Remove with tongs and let excess oil drip. Then assemble as described below.

b: Healthier and still really good: Heat non-stick oil pan or very lightly oiled pan to prevent sticking, and warm the tortilla for 5-10 second on each side.

4. Assemble the enchilada: While face open, sprinkle cheese, a spoonful of beans (preferably warmed), and a spoonful of veggies down the middle. Then I sprinkle a little more cheese and carefully roll to close them. Place in a pan that has been sprayed so the tortillas don’t stick (or put a ladle of sauce at the bottom)

5. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until your pan is full or you run out of things to assemble the enchiladas with.

6. Top with A LOT of sauce and sprinkle cheese on top

7. Bake in oven for 20 minutes

Mexican Mac & Cheese


Tidbits: There are probably more varieties of Mac & Cheese than anyone could count, so why not add another to the list? The inspiration comes from Scott’s love for Mexican and Italian food. So I took a basic mac and cheese recipe and Mexified it.

  1. To unmexify this (which is what I do for Thanksgiving) take out the chili powder, poblano and red pepper, and mexican cream. Do everything else the same. If you do unmexify this, I definitely recommend adding broccoli to the recipe. Cook the broccoli florets with the pasta during the last 2 minutes of cooking.
  2. You don’t have to use the cheeses listed. If you prefer a different combo, have at it.
  3. For a healthier option, you can use whole wheat pasta and milk and cheeses with a lower fat content (and nix the cream). Note that the sauce will be a bit thinner with low fat milk.

Ingredients:

1 lb macaroni elbows or corkscrew pasta

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 poblano pepper, chopped (make sure you get the ribs and seeds out if you don’t want a lot of heat)

1 red pepper, chopped

3 tbsp butter

3 tbsp flour

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp chili powder

2 cups whole milk

1/8 cup Mexican cream (this ingredient is not necessary if you can’t find it/don’t have it)

1 cup vegetable broth

2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded

1/4 cup bread crumbs (these are also not necessary, but always yummy)

Salt & Pepper (freshly ground, not that shaker stuff!)

Directions:

  1. Mentally prepare yourself for multi-tasking. There’s a lot going on at once, but it’s ok if things finish early/late . It’s all getting mixed together at the end.
  2. Cook pasta as directed (but check the Tips & Tricks page for some advice on this)
  3. In the mean time, heat large saute pan over medium heat and add oil.  Chop the onion (fairly small pieces), poblano pepper, red pepper, and  garlic, then cook in this pan for ~ 5 minutes. Add a few dashes of the seasonings that you are going to use later for a little more flavor.
  4. Heat medium sauce pan over medium heat.
  5. Now for the roux (which will thicken your sauce, so this is important!).  Add butter to the sauce pan and melt. Then add the flour, cayenne pepper, paprika, and chili powder. Whisk until roux bubbles and cook for about a minute.
  6. Whisk milk, broth, and Mexican cream into the roux raise the stove to high heat until it’s boiling. Watch closely because the milk will boil fast and wildly! Lower the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  7. Add cheese to milk sauce and stir to melt.
  8. Combine drained pasta, cheese,  veggies and plenty of salt & pepper in a 9×13 pan (use a non-stick pan or cooking spray for easy cleaning)
  9. You could eat this now if you’re really hungry! Or…move on to step 10.
  10. Sprinkle some bread crumbs on top and bake at 350º for about 15-20 minutes.
  1. Mentally prepare yourself for multi-tasking. There’s a lot going on at once, but it’s ok if things finish early/late . It’s all getting mixed together at the end.
  2. Cook pasta as directed (but check the Tips & Tricks page for some advice on this)
  3. In the mean time, heat large saute pan over medium heat and add oil.  Chop the onion (fairly small pieces), poblano pepper, red pepper, and  garlic, then cook in this pan for ~ 5 minutes. Add a few dashes of the seasonings that you are going to use later for a little more flavor.
  4. Heat medium sauce pan over medium heat.
  5. Now for the roux (which will thicken your sauce, so this is important!).  Add butter to the sauce pan and melt. Then add the flour, cayenne pepper, paprika, and chili powder. Whisk until roux bubbles and cook for about a minute.
  1. Whisk milk, broth, and Mexican cream into the roux raise the stove to high heat until it’s boiling. Watch closely because the milk will boil fast and wildly! Lower the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  1. Add cheese to milk sauce and stir to melt.
  2. Combine drained pasta, cheese,  veggies and plenty of salt & pepper in a 9×13 pan (use a non-stick pan or cooking spray for easy cleaning)
  3. You could eat this now if you’re really hungry! Or…move on to step 10.
  1. Sprinkle some bread crumbs on top and bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes.

Mexican Chicken Casserole


 

Tidbits: I love this recipe! It came from a family friend from when I was growing up and it’s definitely one of my favorite meals. It can be made in a variety of ways – with both chicken and beans, or just chicken, or just beans – to accommodate different tastes and preferences. Be sure to put your name on the leftovers if you want them – my roommates and I used to fight over who would get them! Enjoy!

Ingredients:
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, boiled and chopped

1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 can cream of chicken

1 can cream of mushroom

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup salsa

½ teaspoon cumin (I definitely use more – season to your own liking)

½ teaspoon chili powder (I definitely use more – season to your own liking)

1 bag Tostitos chips

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

1.      Boil chicken in water for 20 minutes (add salt, celery, and onion to water for taste if desired). Drain chicken, saving 1 cup of chicken broth. Let chicken cool then chop into bite sized pieces.

2.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3.      In a bowl, mix cream of chicken, cream of mushroom, salsa, chicken broth (if you forget to save 1 cup from boiling chicken or you’re making it without the chicken you can substitute 1 cup of canned/boxed chicken broth), cumin, and chili powder. Add chopped chicken and stir.

4.      Spray a 9×13 glass baking dish with non-stick spray. Crumble a layer of Tostitos chips to cover the bottom of the dish (just crumbled in your hands over dish). Pour bowl mixture over crumbled Tostitos. Place in 350 degree oven uncovered for 30 minutes.

5.      After 30 minutes, remove from oven and layer half (about 1 cup) the shredded cheese, followed by another layer of crumbled Tostitos, followed by the remaining half (about 1 cup) of shredded cheese.

6.      Place back in oven uncovered for 20 minutes or until cheese is completely melted.

7.      Allow to cool a few minutes before cutting. Serve with lettuce and salsa (or anything else you feel like). Enjoy! And remember to put your name on the leftovers! 🙂