November 3, 2010

Mad for Mexican: Enchiladas with Mole Sauce

I could eat Mexican every day of the week. I simply love it, and the more smothery, cheesy, saucy Mexican goodness I can have, the better. On Sunday night I rolled corn tortillas by hand for soft tacos. I don't know what I did wrong, but I don't think I'll ever make homemade corn tortillas ever again. They were incredibly fresh and delicious, but when I can purchase them fresh from the store, it's not exactly worth an evening's adventure with masa to my elbows and a sticky rolling pin.

Fast forward to Tuesday night, when I had the chance to check out Stephen Starr's semi-recently opened Mexican dive, El Rey. I could have devoured the entire menu, but considering my stomach has limits, my friend R and I settled on trying a few (amazing) choices: a huge plate of chilaquiles nachos topped with heaping fried eggs, succulent short rib enchiladas, fresh Halibut tacos, a big bowl of guacamole with thick, crunchy tortilla chips, and a juicy, buttery corn on the cob that was layered with enough spice to bring out a choke or two. Oh, and I topped it off with a big glass of pineapple and blueberry white sangria. It was a night in heaven. 

As if I couldn't have enough, I made enchiladas the very next night (tonight). I've been craving chocolate, too (thanks, Halloween), so a mole sauce seemed like the perfect way to hit both cravings at once. I had never made homemade mole before, but I promise you that the recipe I include here is so simple you'll want to make it again and again. It's sweet from the cocoa and raisins, but savory from the tomatoes and chiles. It's perfect. Kind of like the big dish of bubbling mole and cheese atop generously filled corn tortillas, that I later removed from the oven... and I know I'll be craving those leftovers tomorrow, too!

Fast and Easy Enchiladas: serves 2
4-6 store-bought corn tortillas
cooking spray
Filling of choice, such as shredded chicken, sauteed beef, or sauteed veggies. (I used soy chorizo)
3/4 cup thick, mild salsa
1/8 cup hot sauce
1/8 cup tomato sauce
black bean spread (optional)

Topping of:
1/4 recipe of Mole Sauce
1/8 cup Mexican cheese such as pepper jack or Queso

Cover the corn tortillas on a plate with a dishtowel and microwave 30 seconds or until just soft and warm. In a separate bowl, mix the filling of choice with the salsa, hot sauce, and tomato sauce (should be fairly saucy). Put 3-4 T. of filling into each tortilla then roll tightly and place in a row in a small baking dish with the crease side down. Top with mole sauce until fully covered, then top with the cheese. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 400 degrees until bubbling and the cheese has melted.

Serve with a salad of chopped spinach, avocado, and pumpkin seeds in a simple red wine and olive oil dressing.

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