Dining Mexican Style

Mole is a sauce found and used all over Mexico and Central America, but it is believed to have originated in Central Mexico, in the Oaxaca region.  It is a sauce made from a multitude of different spices and ingredients and there are many, many different varieties.  A traditional mole sauce has at least 20-30 different ingredients that are roasted and ground into either a paste or a fine powder.  In the past, the grinding and roasting processes were done by many different generations of the women in the family and would take a lot of time and effort to make.  Because the mole preparations were so laborious, mole was traditionally served only for special occasions and holidays, and was usually eaten over turkey.   Today, it is much easier to make mole, and it is now used in a variety of dishes.  Mole is NEVER eaten just by itself, and is ALWAYS served over something.  It is usually served over meats, including turkey, chicken, pork, lamb and other meats, but it is also served over tamales and enchiladas or enmoladas.  Each region, and many families, have their own unique versions and recipes for mole sauce, which have been passed down through the generations.  No matter what type of mole you serve, the two main ingredients are a variety of chili peppers and chocolate.  Mole poblano is the most popular and best known type of mole sauce.  It is usually a rich, dark reddish brown sauce that is served over meat, although it can really be any color.  Mole poblano has been ranked number 1 as being a typical Mexican dish and is also known as the national dish of Mexico.

Christmas is right around the corner, so it is only fitting that we had mole at this time of year.  Unbeknownst to me at the time, I made enmoladas with chicken and corn that I served with arroz ala Mexicana or Mexican rice and refried beans.  And of course, there just had to be a margarita especial to accompany the meal as well.  We had a traditional Mexican meal that is served for the holidays.  So …. Feliz Navidad y Desfruitas!

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Chicken and Corn Enmoladas

(This recipe calls far the store bought, prepared mole sauce, which is a great and tasty alternative to making it all by hand)

1 1/2 lbs cooked chicken, shredded

1/2 onion

1-1 1/2 cups corn

2 TBSP fresh cilantro and parsley, chopped

salt & pepper to taste

2 jars of prepared mole poblano sauce, such as Dona Maria or Rogelio Bueno

1/2 cup peanut butter

4 cups chicken stock

12 corn tortillas

cheese of your choice, but a Mexican queso blanco is best

2 TBSP toasted sesame seeds

creme fraiche or crema Mexicana, optional for topping

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Saute the corn, onions and salt & pepper in olive oil.  After they are cooked and the onions are translucent, mix in the fresh herbs, then combine with the shredded chicken and set aside.

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To make the sauce, combine the mole sauce and the peanut butter in a sauce pan and cook until everything is well combined, then add the chicken stock and continue to cook until you have a medium thick, creamy sauce.  Make sure to stir frequently so the sauce does not burn and the ingredients are well incorporated together.  I used the Dona Maria sauce, which was a thick paste.

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To assemble the enmoladas, heat the tortillas in either a little hot oil and cook just for a few seconds until they are soft and pliable or in the microwave for about 20 seconds.  I heated them up in the microwave.   Coat and spray a 9×13 baking dish, or a clay baking dish if you have one, and line the bottom of the pan with a little of the sauce.  Spread a little bit of sauce on both sides of the tortilla, then add your filling and cheese.  Roll loosely and place the stuffed tortillas side by side in the baking dish.  Repeat until the pan is filled.

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Once the pan is full, evenly spread more of the mole sauce over the enmoladas, and sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds over the top.  Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake at 375* F for about 15-20 minutes.

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When the enmoladas are done, serve along side your favorite Mexican side dishes and desfruitas!   !Feliz Navidad!   My cookbook was an early Christmas gift from mi amiga, Delores.  Perfect Presents  

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Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

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