Today I made lunch at home. I have had this idea on my mind for a while, and Javier brought back some big succulent oyster mushrooms today from the market at Puerto Angel, so I knew it was time to make my move. I already had some of those wonderful greens cooked, so it was a quick meal.
Now, at this point, those of you who know anything about mole sauce are saying, “Quick? I don’t think so.” But, and here is another reason to love Zipolite, you can buy an amazing mole paste in a jar here. Just thin it down with some vegetable bouillon and heat it up. And, I confess. I use this ingredient on a “Don’t ask, don’t tell” basis. I suspect it contains chicken stock, but I have never asked. And — spoiler alert — I don’t want to know! Truth is, I can’t taste it. When I am home, I make my own mole, and I have included a good recipe for that here. Also, for another reason to love Zipolite, there is a tortilleria right on the edge of town, so you can buy lovely tortillas, already made. When I am home, I usually make my own, and you can find this recipe in the Taco Party, Part 2, post on this blog.
The filling for these enchiladas was sautéed wild mushrooms with onions and garlic, and a bit of that Tofu/Cashew cheese. However, this week I couldn’t find cashews, so I used Macadamias, and it worked just fine.
So, here’s a tip for warming up tortillas; put them right on the burner of a gas flame. Only takes seconds to warm them up.
Warm up the tortillas, fill them with the mushroom mixture and the cheese, roll them up, and top with mole sauce. You could also put this together in a baking pan, top with the mole, and put in the oven for a few minutes. I just don’t have an oven, so I make do. And they did just fine.
I made some tweaks to veganize this recipe from macheesmo. com. This is the kind of mole I like to make and I love the idea of adding a plantain to thicken it. I really like breaking this up into organized steps. This sauce can seem intimidating, but if you just see it as one step at a time, it becomes easy. There are 4 different batches of things done in the blender (I would use my Cusinart, because it is easier than my blender.). Also note that you will need a total of 6 to 7 cups of vegetable broth. This recipe makes a lot of mole, and what is leftover will keep for a while in the refrigerator. I suggest making the mole the day before you cook the rest of the meal, just to have it done. And, because like so many things of this type, it is better once it has had time to sit and mellow out. I serve it with tamales, enchiladas, anything Mexican; and it is a big hit. Even though it does take some time to make, I promise it will rock your world.
Step one: the peppers
6 dried ancho peppers
3 dried pasilla peppers
Roast on a baking sheet for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees. Then put them in a bowl with about 2 cups of boiling water and let soak for 30 minutes. Then remove the stems and slice them open and scrape out the seeds. (You might want to wear rubber gloves for this process.). Put in the blender with the soaking liquid and blend to a smooth paste. Set aside.
Step two: the spices
8 black peppercorns
1 stick cinnamon
1 tea. whole cumin seeds
1 tea. fennel seeds
1 tea. red pepper flakes
2 T. sesame seeds
Toast them in a dry pan over medium heat for a few minutes to bring out their favors. Don’t burn them. Put in a spice grinder, grind, and set aside. A small coffee grinder should work.
Step three: the vegetables
4 cloves garlic
1 medium onion
3 small tomatoes
Roughly chop and put on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Put in blender with 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth, blend until smooth. Strain, and put in a large pot to make the mole.
Step four: the nuts
1/4 cup peanuts
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup raisins
Cook the nuts over medium heat for 5-6 minutes in 1/4 cup vegetable shortening. Once nuts are browned lightly, add the raisins and cook for one more minute.
Put in blender and purée with 1 cup vegetable broth.
Now — add the nut mixture, the pepper paste, and the spices to the pot with the vegetables, bring to boil, and reduce to simmer.
Step five: the finishing ingredients
1 small plantain, ripe
4 corn tortillas
Brown the plantain, sliced, in vegetable shortening, and lightly brown the tortillas in the shortening. Tear the tortillas into strips and put in blender with 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth, blend and add to mole pot.
Set six: the magic
Add 3 oz Mexican chocolate, chopped up, to the mole pot. Add another 2 to 3 cups broth. Sauce should simmer over low heat for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Stir often. If it gets too thick, add more broth. At the end of the simmer, carefully salt to taste.