Anyone who knows me at all knows about my affinity (ok, possible obsession) for Mexican food, so when I noticed that Cinco De Mayo fell on a Saturday this year, I thought it was a perfect excuse to get some people together for cooking and eating, and, of course, margaritas. I knew it would be fun – but even I didn’t expect the food to be as ridiculously good as it was. We all worked in the kitchen together, so cooking was just as much fun as eating – which is the best possible outcome you can have for this sort of thing. In addition to all that, my friend Emily brought over two incredible desserts. What I’m saying is: I’m not sure I even need to eat anything today.
As for making mole – it’s not nearly as complicated as you might assume. Sure, there are a ton of ingredients, but the most technical skill required is patience. And a decent blender. This recipe makes quite a bit of food– we made two full trays of enchiladas and had several cups of mole left over. As it turns out, mole makes a great party favor. Who knew?
- Cheese enchiladas with mole (recipe below via How to Cook Everything Vegetarian)
- Classic guacamole AND pineapple tomatillo guacamole
- Chips & salsa
- Cilantro lime rice
- Mango-lime sorbet
- Mexican Chocolate brownies
- Margarita cupcakes
- Strawberry & lime margaritas
- 2 cups assorted nuts (pecans, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, pine nuts or a mixture)
- 2 thick slices of bread
- 1 quart vegetable stock
- 1/4 cup tahini or sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder or chopped unsweetened chocolate
- 1 head garlic, peeled
- 12-15 dried chilies, toasted, reconstituted and de-seeded
- 4 plum tomatoes
- 1 large onion
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon allspice
- 2 tablespoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons anise seeds
- 1/4 cup oil
- salt and pepper
- brown sugar (optional)
for the enchiladas:
- 20 corn or flour tortillas
- 3 -4 cups shredded Monterrey jack or cotija cheese (we used a mix of both)
- Diced tomatoes, onions, and cilantro for a garnish
- Add the nuts, spices, peppers, tomatoes, onion, cocoa, garlic and bred in the blender with just enough vegetable stock to make the blender move. You will probably need to work in batched
- Put 1/4 cup of oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add in the pureed spice mixture and cook until fragrant, 3-5 minutes
- Continue to cook the mixture over low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally
- Mix in the remainder of the vegetable stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then lower the heat until the mixture barely bubbles. Let it simmer for about an hour, until smooth. Add additional stock or water if the mixture becomes too thick. Stir occasionally, scraping the bottom of the pot. Taste, and add brown sugar if desired.
- Assemble the enchiladas: spoon a layer of mole on the bottom of a baking dish. Add a few tablespoons of the cheese mixture to your tortillas and roll them up tightly, placing them in the dish. When the dish is full, ladle more mole on top. Top with some cotija cheese.
- Bake enchiladas for 25 minutes at 350 and serve
- Note: we made two full 9 x 13 trays of enchiladas using this method, so be prepared to feed a crowd or freeze. Or eat enchiladas all week. All sound like good options to me.