Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Mole Enchiladas with Mexican Rice

Mole is definitely a love it or hate it kind of sauce. You're basically putting chocolate all over your dinner, and that's not something that's easy for most people to accept.  When done properly, however, the combination of sweet and spicy blends wonderfully to complement a surprising number of dishes. Live a little, and give this unique sauce a try.

Mole Enchiladas
Modified from Allrecipes.com
Servings: 4 enchiladas
Time: 60 minutes

2 tbsp olive oil
The perfect chocolate for mole.
2/3 cup + 1 tbsp veggie broth
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
10 oz canned diced tomatoes 
2 tsp brown sugar
1/3 cup dark chocolate with chili, chopped
1 tbsp 62% cacao dark chocolate, chopped
4 corn tortillas
2 Gardein chick'n scallopini patties
Cumin to taste
Mexican Cheese, shredded
Toasted sesame seeds
Cilantro, chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp veggie broth in a sauce pan over medium heat.
  3. Add the bay leaf, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cloves, paprika and cinnamon and stir until it becomes fragrant.
  4. Sauté 1/2 cup onion and 4 cloves of garlic until soft and translucent (about 3 minutes).
  5. Add the diced tomatoes, brown sugar and 2/3 cup veggie broth. Bring to a simmer
  6. Stir in the chocolate until it melts. 
  7. Continue cooking over low heat stirring occasionally for 15+ minutes.
  8. In a separate frying pan, sauté the remaining onion and garlic in olive oil. 
  9. Add in the Gardein patties and sprinkle on cumin. Cook over medium heat until it starts to brown (about 3 minutes per side).
  10. Heat the tortillas over medium heat for about 1 minute per side. This will ensure they don't break apart when folded.
  11. Coat the bottom of a glass bowl with half of the mole sauce. Then top with your folded enchiladas and remaining sauce. Sprinkle on cheese and cook in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  12. Garnish with cilantro and sesame seeds.

This definitely tasted better than the preprepared can mole you can find at stores, but it still needs a little work. It was somewhat heavy on the paprika, and the diced tomatoes were a tad strange. In the future, I think I would substitute tomato sauce for diced tomatoes and cook the sauce for longer to allow the flavors to come together. The chocolate choices worked well, and it had good heat while not being overly sweet.

Mexican Rice
Servings: 4
Time: 20 minutes

2 cups cooked long grain rice
2 tbsp veggie broth
2 tbsp tomato sauce
1 tbsp turmeric 
1/2 cup onion, chopped
Cumin, salt and garlic powder to taste

  1. Prepare the rice according to package instructions.
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients. You can vary the amounts of tomato sauce and turmeric to achieve the desired orange-yellow color.
  3. Garnish with cilantro.

Here' a quick and easy way to add some Mexican flavor to ordinary rice.  Next time, it might turn out a little more flavorful if I cook the rice with the ingredients as opposed to adding them all in at the end. Also, remember Mexican rice is made to be mixed heavily with its accompanying beans. 

For fans of mole, I think this works. It won't convert anyone, but it was a fairly quick and tasty rendition that deserves a try. With a little tinkering, I think it could be pretty special. If you have any mole left over, it also goes great on top of fried eggs for a compelling breakfast.

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