Rick Bayless’ Red Mole Enchiladas with Shredded Chicken

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This dish was a labor of love. Rick Bayless titled it “Simple” Red Mole, but I took the “Simple” away from my title. ūüôā The method is simple, but there were so many steps required to make this ultra-FABULOUS sauce I couldn’t describe the dish as simple. Every step¬†was completely worth it! Mole is my absolute favorite and this is a wonderful version. When tasting the sauce for seasoning, I could have gobbled up the entire pot! I did simplify the recipe¬†by using shredded rotisserie chicken in the filling. This recipe is from Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen: Capturing the Vibrant Flavors of a World-Class Cuisine by Rick Bayless with Deann Groen Bayless and Jean Marie Brownson. We ate the enchiladas with rice, refried beans, and saut√©ed kale with spinach and garlic on the side.

Yield: Serves 6 to 9, with about 6 cups of sauce

For the Essential Sweet-and-Spicy Ancho Seasoning Paste:

  • 8 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 8 medium (about 4 ounces total) dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • scant 1/4 tsp freshly ground cloves
  • 6 cups chicken stock, divided

To Finish the Dish:

  • ¬†3 T vegetable oil, plus a little more if needed
  • 2 oz (about 1/2 cup) whole raw almonds (with or without skins)
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced 1/8-inch thick, divided
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2-3 ripe plum tomatoes
  • scant 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) roughly chopped Mexican chocolate (I used Trader Joe’s 72% cacao Belgian dark chocolate)
  • 2 slices firm white bread, toasted
  • coarse salt, about 2 1/2 tsp, depending on saltiness of stock
  • granulated sugar, about 1 tablespoon
  • 18 corn tortillas (plus a few extra in case some break)
  • a spoonful or two of sesame seeds, for garnish
  • 3 cups cooked, coarsely shredded chicken (I used rotisserie chicken)
  • rice, for serving, optional
  • refried beans, for serving, optional

Make the Essential Sweet-and-Spicy Ancho Seasoning Paste:

  1. Roast the unpeeled garlic directly on an ungreased griddle or heavy skillet (I used a cast-iron skillet) over medium heat until soft (they’ll blacken in spots), about 10 minutes; cool and peel.
  2. While the garlic is roasting, toast the chiles on another side of the griddle or skillet: 1 or 2 at a time, open them flat and press down firmly on the hot surface with a spatula; in a few seconds, when they crackle, even send up a wisp of smoke, flip them and press down to toast the other side.
  3. In a bowl, cover the chiles with hot water and let rehydrate 30 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure even soaking. Drain and discard the water.
  4. Combine the oregano, black pepper, cumin, and clove in a food processor along with the chiles, garlic, and 2/3 cup of the stock. Process to a smooth puree, scraping and stirring every few seconds. If the mixture won’t go through the blender blades, add a little more liquid. Remove from the food processor and set aside.

Make the Mole:

  1. In a medium-size (4 to 6-quart) pot (I used an enameled cast iron pot), heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil over medium. Add the almonds and cook, stirring regularly, until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the almonds to a food processor.
  2. Add half of the sliced onion to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until richly browned, about 5 to 10 minutes. Use the slotted spoon to scoop the onions in with the almonds, leaving behind as much oil as possible. (If needed, add a little more oil or lard to the pan, let heat, then continue.)
  3. Add the raisins, stir for a minute as they puff, then use the slotted spoon to scoop them in with the almonds.
  4. Roast the tomatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet 4 inches below a very hot broiler until blackened on one side, about 6 minutes, then flip them over and roast the other side.
  5. Once the tomatoes are cool, peel and add to the almond mixture in the food processor, along with the cinnamon, chocolate and toasted bread. Add 1 cup of the stock and blend to a smooth puree, scraping and stirring every few seconds.
  6. Return the pot to medium-high heat, and, if necessary, add a little more oil or lard to coat the bottom lightly. When very hot, add the ancho mixture and cook, stirring almost constantly, until darker and very thick, about 5 minutes.
  7. Add the pureed almond mixture and cook, stirring constantly for another few minutes, until very thick once again.
  8. Stir in the remaining 4 1/3 cups stock, partially cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, over medium-low for 45 minutes. Taste and season with salt and sugar. (The sugar balances the strong flavors.)

Finish the Enchiladas:

  1. Warm a plate for each person in a warming drawer or in the oven on the lowest setting.
  2. Warm the tortillas: I put 6 to 8 tortillas at a time on a microwave safe dish (I have a tortilla warmer) covered with a damp paper towel and lid or plastic wrap. Heat for 1 minute or until warm, soft and pliable.
  3. Toast the sesame seeds in a small skillet, stirring frequently, over medium heat until golden, 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. In a medium-size saucepan, combine the chicken with 1 1/2 cups of the mole and warm over medium heat. Bring the remaining mole to a simmer. IMG_8221
  5. To serve: Quickly make the enchiladas by scooping 2 generous tablespoons of chicken onto a tortilla, rolling it up and placing it on a warm dinner plate. Continue making enchiladas, arranging 2 or 3 per plate, then douse them liberally with the hot mole. Strew with the remaining sliced onion and toasted sesame seeds.

Notes:

  1. The finished mole will keep for several days, covered and refrigerated; it also freezes well. Reheat, taste and adjust the seasonings before finishing the dish.
  2. Leftover chicken, pork, shredded roast, turkey, grilled steak, or even roasted squash or sweet potato mixed with grilled onion and/or blanched greens would also be wonderful fillings.
  3. The sauce could be served over poached chicken with rice on the side as an alternative special dinner.

One Year Ago:

If you like this you may also like:¬†(Can you tell I’m a fan? ūüôā )

Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas with Creamy Tomatillo Sauce and Melted Cheese

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When my mom came to visit recently I wanted to make her a Mexican dish with tomatillo sauce– we both LOVE it!! This is a wonderful vegetarian dish from Rick Bayless’ book Fiesta at Rick’s: Fabulous Food for Great Times with Friends. It is loaded with vegetables- I used chayote squash, kohlrabi, carrots, mushrooms, and red onion in the enchiladas. Turnips and butternut squash are also suggested in the recipe as they have equivalent roasting times. Any vegetable could be used (zucchini, broccoli, asparagus…) but the roasting time would need to be shortened. The finished dish had a spicy kick even though I seeded the jalape√Īo – the creme fraiche in the sauce reduces that heat a little. (I love spicy food!) We ate the enchiladas with brown basmati rice on the side.

  • 1 pound (6 to 8) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced about 1/4-inch thick
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Fresh hot green chiles to taste (1-2 jalape√Īos or 2-3 serranos) (I used 2 seeded jalape√Īos), stemmed
  • 1 1/2 T vegetable oil, plus extra for roasting the vegetables and spraying the tortillas
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock, plus extra if needed
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche
  • 8 cups cubed vegetables (about 1/2-inch cubes) (I used chayote, carrots, red onion, mushrooms, & kohlrabi)
  • coarse salt
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 2/3 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • a few sliced rounds of white onion, separated into rings, for garnish, if desired
  • fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish

Make the Sauce:

  1. Roast the tomatillos, sliced onion, peeled garlic and chiles on a rimmed baking sheet 4 inches below a hot broiler until the tomatillos are soft and blotchy black on one side, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn everything over and roast the other side. Remove and reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees.
  2. Scrape the tomatillo mixture into a food processor. Process to a smooth puree.
  3. Heat the 1 1/2 T oil in a medium-large (4 to 5 quart) pot over medium-high. When the oil is hot enough to make a drop of the puree sizzle, add the puree all at once. Stir nearly constantly for several minutes until darker and thicker.
  4. Add the broth and the creme fraiche, reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Roast the Vegetables:

  1. Spread the cubed vegetables on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle or spritz with oil, sprinkle with salt and stir to coat evenly.
  2. Roast, stirring regularly, until the carrots are crunchy-tender, about 25 minutes.

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Finish the Sauce, Heat the Tortillas:

  1. If the sauce has thickened beyond the consistency of a light cream soup, stir in a little more broth (or water). Taste and season with salt, usually about 1 teaspoon.
  2. Lightly brush or spray both sides of each tortilla with oil. Cover with a damp paper towel and plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 1 minute to soften.

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Finish the Enchiladas:

  1. Smear 1 cup of the sauce over the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
  2. Working quickly so the tortillas stay hot and pliable, roll a portion of the roasted vegetables into each tortilla, then line them all up in the baking dish.
  3. Douse evenly with the remaining sauce, then sprinkle with the cheese.
  4. Bake until the enchiladas are heated through and the cheese has begun to brown, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Garnish with onion rings and cilantro sprigs, if desired. These are best served piping hot from the oven.

No-Bake Vegetarian Enchiladas

No-Bake Vegetarian Enchiladas

This dish was time-consuming -but special, pretty, and delicious. Most vegetarian enchiladas are filled with cheese or beans. These are filled with a queso fresco, red onion and cilantro filling – BUT then they are LADEN with toppings. I LOVE toppings! The first is a sofrito¬†made with slow-cooked carrots, onions, tomatoes, and garlic, then they’re sprinkled with the cheese filling, then topped with Smoky Tomatillo Salsa, and finally sour cream. Every layer of flavor added to this dish. GREAT! This recipe is from Food and Wine, contributed by Josef Centeno. I usually steam my tortillas in the microwave to make them more pliable and warm. I did follow the recipe and warmed them in oil – tasty – but I used less than suggested. I also used a Vidalia onion and added more garlic to the sofrito -YUM!

Serves: 4 to 6; Total Time: 2 Hours; Active Time: 30 Minutes

CARROT SOFRITO INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/4 pounds carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped (I used 1 BIG Vidalia onion)
  • 5-10 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 pound tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt

ENCHILADAS INGREDIENTS

  • 9 ounces queso fresco, crumbled (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • Canola oil, for warming
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • Smoky Tomatillo Salsa
  • Mexican crema or sour cream, for drizzling
1.¬†Preheat the oven to 225¬į. In a food processor, pulse the carrots, onion and garlic until very finely chopped. Scrape the mixture into a medium bowl. Add the tomatoes to the food processor and pulse until nearly smooth.
2. In a medium, deep ovenproof skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until shimmering. Add the carrot mixture and a generous pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened slightly and nearly dry, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the tomato puree and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 6 tablespoons of olive oil. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 1 1/2 hours until the carrot sofrito is very soft. Season with salt, cover and keep warm over low heat, stirring occasionally.
3. In a medium bowl, toss the crumbled queso fresco with the cilantro and red onion.
4. In a small skillet, heat 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch of canola oil over moderately low heat. Add 1 tortilla to the skillet and cook until just pliable, about 20 seconds. Using tongs, transfer the tortilla to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
5. Working quickly, roll a scant 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture in each tortilla and arrange them on a large platter, seam side down. Spoon the hot sofrito over the enchiladas and scatter the remaining cheese mixture on top; drizzle some of the Smoky Tomatillo Salsa and crema over them and serve, passing additional salsa and crema at the table.

Enchiladas Suizas

When we lived in Chicago I became obsessed with Chef Rick Bayless. He has such a love for Mexican cuisine- it makes you excited about trying his recipes.  I am usually pleased with the results. This is a great, hearty dish. I used 3 serrano chilies, creme fraiche, 2 28-ounce cans of San Marzano tomatoes, rotisserie chicken, and Monterey Jack cheese. I served brown basmati rice on the side as well. This recipe is from Rick Bayless, Mexico One Plate At A Time, via Food and Wine.

  • Fresh hot green chiles to taste (roughly 3 serranos or 2 jalape√Īos), stemmed
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth, plus a little extra if needed
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup homemade crema, cr√®me fraiche or heavy (whipping) cream
  • 3 pounds (about 20 medium plum or 6 medium-large round) ripe tomatoes OR 2 28-ounce cans good-quality whole tomatoes in juice, drained
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil or rich-tasting pork lard, plus a little oil for brushing or spraying the tortillas
  • About 2 cups coarsely shredded cooked chicken, preferably grilled, roasted or rotisserie chicken
  • 2/3 cup shredded Mexican melting cheese (Chihuahua, quesadilla, asadero or the like) or Monterey Jack, brick or mild cheddar
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • A few sliced rounds of white onion, separated into rings, for garnish
  • Fresh cilantro sprigs for garnish

Enchiladas Suizas

1.¬†For fresh tomatoes: Roast the tomatoes and chiles on a baking sheet 4 inches below a very hot broiler, until they’re darkly roasted.
2.¬†For canned tomatoes: In a small dry skillet, roast the chiles over medium heat, turning regularly, until they’re soft and splotchy-black, about 5 minutes. Place in a blender or food processor along with the drained canned tomatoes. Blend to a smooth puree.
3.¬†In a medium-size (4- or 5-quart) pot (preferably a Dutch oven or Mexican cazuela), heat the oil or lard over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring regularly, until golden, about 7 minutes. Raise the heat to medium-high, and, when noticeably hotter, stir in the tomato puree. Cook, stirring, until darker in color and thickened to the consistency of tomato paste, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the broth, partially cover and simmer 15 minutes. Taste and season with salt, usually about 1/2 teaspoon. The sauce should be a slightly soupy consistency‚ÄĒnot as thick as spaghetti sauce. If it is too thick, stir in a little additional broth. Keep warm over low heat.
4. Other preliminaries. Stir the crema (or one of its stand-ins) into the sauce. Put the chicken in a bowl and stir 1/2 cup of the sauce mixture into it. Taste and season with additional salt if you think it needs it. Have the cheese at the ready.
5.¬†Heat the oven to 350¬į. Smear about 1/4 cup of the sauce over the bottom of 4 to 6 nine-inch individual ovenproof baking/serving dishes or smear about 1 cup of the sauce over the bottom of a 13×9-inch baking dish. Lay the tortillas out on a baking sheet (2 sheets if you have them, for more even heating), and lightly brush or spray both sides of the tortillas with oil. Bake just to warm through and soften, about 3 minutes. Stack the tortillas and cover with a towel to keep warm.
6. Working quickly so the tortillas stay hot and pliable, roll a portion of the chicken into each tortilla, then line them all up in the baking dishes. Douse evenly with the remaining sauce, then sprinkle with the cheese. Bake until the enchiladas are hot through (the cheese will have begun to brown), about 15 minutes. Garnish with onion rings and cilantro sprigs (optional). These are best served piping hot from the oven.

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