Sunday, November 05, 2006

Holy Mole`! An Enchilada Dinner

I know I just fixed a Fiesta dinner a few weeks ago, but that was when my son had 103 fever and tonsillitis and didn't get to eat any of the food. So he asked me to fix enchiladas with mole sauce. He LOVES mole. I've only tasted it a couple of times.

I began my grocery shopping with a trip to the farmers market on Saturday morning. I got squash, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, peppers, cauliflower, onions, broccoli (finally!), and the world's biggest zucchini! The zucchini was 50 cents and it's bigger than the butternut squash!

I found a recipe in my Whole Foods Market cookbook for Easy Mole Sauce. Easy, yes; quick, no. I just added a couple of ingredients to the recipe - sesame seeds, garlic, carrots, mexican oregano, and cilantro. I made the sauce on Saturday. I wasn't sure what I was supposed to end up with, but here it is:

I really struggled with the preparation of the enchiladas and would welcome any suggestions. The filling is delicious. I roasted the butternut squash and an onion and some garlic. Then I mashed it and added in a can of black beans, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, cilantro, salt and pepper.

Then I warmed the corn tortillas and filled and rolled them. Now something is really wrong with me because for some reason I decided to trim the ends of the rolled up enchiladas. They just looked more uniform and there was none of that extra, empty tortilla just laying there. Anyway, the dilemma was how to keep the enchiladas moist since I did not have a sauce to top the enchiladas with. I planned on covering it with foil before baking so they would steam, but I was really worried they would dry out. Here they are ready to bake.

They held up fine during baking, but they cracked as soon as I plated them. A red sauce topping would compete with the mole. Do you think a mild salsa verde sauce would be okay next time?

I also made Arroz Rojo. It is basically 4 cups prepared brown rice with tomato sauce, vegetable broth, carrots, onion, green chiles, green onions, cilantro, mexican spices, and peas, but I forgot to put the peas in!

For our other side dishes I made a guacamole salad and broccoli with almonds, raisins, and garlic vinaigrette.

See how the tortilla is already cracked? :(

But Chase is happy and that's all that matters to me. He said the mole sauce was the best he had ever had. (He's so good to me!) I told him the sauce was just 40 calories per 1/4 cup, so he asked for a measuring cup so he could limit himself to one cup. He only ate half of that - it's pretty rich. I liked the mole too. It's different. The flavor is complex and not too spicy.

For dessert I made Vegan Diva's Peanuttiest Blondies. They are awesome! I'm not one for following recipes exactly because I always feel the need to add my own touch to it, but I did follow this one. EXCEPT I ran out of peanut butter and HAD to use a couple of tablespoons of Better Than Butter, but you couldn't tell the difference. How did I do, Diva?


Jackie said...

Looks good even if they cracked.

I have never tried Mole sauce as with the modern fusion style cooking the thought of putting chocolate in a savory sauce rather puts me off.

Candi said...

I've never had mole sauce either! Looks good though! I think the verde sauce would be great too, but I'm partial to verde sauce.

You're such a good mom to cook such healthy foods, and also in such a great variety!

Wow, what a zucchini! Lol!! That first photo of all your produce is SO pretty!!

KleoPatra said...

All i know about Mole is that it takes like 100 ingredients traditionally. Too much work for me! But one of my fave Mexican restaurants makes it and i might try it if they can veganize it for me... Nice of you to re-do the foods to make up for last time. 103, yikes! Making such a variety of great foods... now THAT is love... what a sweet thing to do! Everything you show here looks wonderful...

Nicki Baker said...

I just ran across your blog today, but I will say your food looks yummy

bazu said...

I *love* mole sauce, but I've never made it. And on the enchilada sauce question, I'm going to have to defer to you, since I'm by no means an expert in tex-mex cooking. But your enchiladas looked awesome even with cracks! Beautiful spread.
And that zucchini... truly a wonder to behold. Let us all bow down before the ginormous squash.

Nikki said...

I love mole!

Everything looks super marvelous as usual. You inspire all kinds of food lust...and that's not a bad thing. You are a wonderful mom with all of this great food and these lovely dinners with your son.

If you're looking for more kids, please make sure my name goes first on the sign up sheet. :)

Kati said...

Your enchiladas look great, but I am drooling over those blondies! I must make those soon.

Love your blog, by the way!

Gaia said...

I have never had mole sauce.
I have never had enchiladas.
I have never had blondies.

Where have I been, I don't know !
Thank you for educating me, I need it :)) You are a great cook and teacher :)

Anonymous said...

You are such a good mom! One of my friends is Mexican and in my pre-veg days, she used to have us over for Chicken Mole. She always made a tomatillo salsa to go with it so I think the salsa verde would make a nice topping to your filling. I've been looking for a alternative to just bean enchiladas and your topping looks great.

aTxVegn said...

Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions, and esp. for not calling me insane for evening up my rolled tortillas.

Nikki, you are on the list, but don't hold your breath!

OMG, Gaia! Mole you can live without, but you must not leave this earth without having eaten enchiladas and these blondies! You like lots of kids - perhaps you could adopt Nikki.

Kris said...

Wow, awesome spread! I can appreciate the effort you put into making some authentic Mexican food, I used to live in Arizona. You can't quite get anything that resemebles real Mexican food in Portland.

Mole sauce is one of those things on my list of irrational food fears. I'm not sure why because I love chocolate. Oh and I don't think you're crazy at all for cutting the edges of the tortillas. I either would have done the same thing or not eaten them. I don't like to consume calories for nothing! Especially with those heavenly looking blondies, I would have held out for those!

Ben Kaelan said...

I totally had to come and tell you I bought an acorn squash the other day and thought of you and made a yummy dinner with the veggies I had with baked acorn rings just like yours... Mmmm was very nummy! thanks for giving me the courage to try a new squash! :)

lots of love,

- Ben

Urban Vegan said...

Cannever go wrong w/Mexicana! That photo of the veggies reminds me of Frida Kahlo's Viva la Vida.

aTxVegn said...

Kris - I'm reminded of when I visit my sister who moved to Alabama. We almost always make enchiladas (cuz she misses good mexican food) and we have to pay $1 for one tortilla! I buy 30 fresh baked ones for 99 cents here!

My mole was not at all sweet or chocolatey. It's hard to explain the taste - deep & complex?!?!

Yay Ben! Aren't the squash rings fun? Help me come up with a veggie to ribbon through the rings. Asparagus? I know you could make a great plate with that.

UV - I never get tired of the spicy mexican goodness.

Anonymous said...

that's such a cool looking mole sauce. I've never heard of it having sesame seeds in it before.

Vegan Diva said...

Wowza, that's one heck of a deal on the zucchini. 50¢ and it's huge! WTG :) I think all your food looks wonderful. Wish I had a plate of your Fiesta Dinner right now!!!

The blondies look fantastic!! I'm glad you tried them and liked them. You did a wonderful job and I think your pic looks better than the one I took. Oh, and you don't have to call me Diva LOL Please call me Emmy :)

As for $75 to see Dori Greenspan's cooking class....I'd probably forgo it at that price and just spend the money on her cookbook instead :)

Drod55 said...

Props to you mole mom!