February 25, 2014

Holy Mole!

I'm moving everything from the cooking closet [my other blog that has been inactive for over a year] over here to MN365. I'm decluttering. Hope it's not too annoying! (-:

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That's mohl-LAY, not mole. It's rhymes with ol√©! 

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[It's really quite difficult to make a spinach, mushroom, and cheese stuffed tortilla coated with mole look pretty.]

I always thought mole had an accent, but according to Wikipedia it does not. You learn something new every day. (-:

I was cooking in my tiny apartment [I miss you first space I ever lived in alone!] on this day and I kept smelling this odd thing. What was it?!? I was pretty sure it was gas leaking out from my oven. Using my broiler at lunch to toast my bagel had somehow magically created a leak and then Hank and I were going to die. Luckily, it was only about 48 degrees outside so I opened a window to give us some ventilation so we wouldn't die right away. It would happen later in our sleep.

Then I discovered that I had forgotten this piece of parchment in my oven on a cookie sheet and I had burned it to a crisp. I guess it's not my time to die by gas poisoning.
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This mole recipe was introduced to me by Meagan who was introduced to it by Michelle, so it comes highly recommended by the three of us. You can decide who the most important recommender is, but I'm pretty sure it's me [wink-wink], so try it out and let me know what you think!
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Peanut butter? Peanut butter. Trust.

Don't forget the brown sugar either, it really enhances the complexity of all the spices. I kept thinking something was missing so I added salt. Then I added more salt. Then I thought my taste memory was off. Then I realized I needed brown sugar. Just remember it the first time and you'll be good without adding unnecessary salt.
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One thing I have discovered as I cook in my teensy-tiny kitchen is how important it is to get everything out and ready to go in the pot--especially when there are lots of ingredients!
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I decided to use queso fresco as my cheese of choice, but you could use any cheese you like. It was my first time with queso fresco and although it is quite yummy, it is also very squeaky against your teeth! I wasn't expecting that.
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I kept all my fillings in their raw state--counting on my bake time to get them cooked--so my chopped 'shrooms, frozen spinach and queso fresco went in each tortilla before becoming smothered by sauce.
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350 degrees and 25 minutes later...
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Tah-dah!
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I separated these out and froze them individually. I'm a HUGE FAN of freezing my food in individual servings and then throwing the frozen item into my bag on my way out the door. It stays cold until lunch and then I pop it in the microwave. 

Mole Sauce
  • 1 medium Onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1/4 cup Chili Powder
  • 3/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • 2-4 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 can Diced Tomatoes
  • 3 Tbsp Peanut Butter (creamy)
  • 2 cups Water
  • The Things You Will Put Your Mole On
Saut√© the onion and garlic in vegetable oil until it's soft, then add all the spices and the water. Let cook down for about 10-15 minutes on medium heat until the sauce has thickened slightly. 

Prepare your filling for your tortillas, feel free to use whatever basics you like shredded chicken, beans, beef, or be like me and use spinach and mushrooms [they were delicious!]. Put enough mole sauce in the bottom of your 9x13 pan to just cover the bottom, fill your tortillas with your filling of choice and cheese and place seam side down in the pan and cover with the remainder of the mole and about 1 cup of cheese. 

Bake covered for 20 minutes at 350 or uncovered at 400 for 10 minutes. [I cooked mine a bit longer since I didn't pre-cook the filling.]
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