Sunday, October 3, 2010

Tofu Mole Enchiladas

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It's been a light cooking week for me, partly because there are other things in my life that need attention. For example, I have not yet figured out how to walk out of a routine car maintenance at the dealership not completely frustrated and broke. Those folks are good at finding problems. And once they do, they will make sure that you pay handsomely to fix those problems. And it seems like no one can be trusted to do a good job honestly. If you want a good scare for Halloween, you should read YELP reviews on car dealerships.

So. I do have some exciting ideas and some future food projects in mind. It's just taking me a little longer to get to the point of execution.

In the meantime, I made some tofu mole enchiladas for dinner one night. Mole can be labor intensive. So it's probably good to make the mole sauce ahead of time so assembly is easy and quick.

For the mole sauce, you'll need:
  • 2 medium to large pableno chiles
  • 1/2 pound or 6 medium tomatillos
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 medium Roma tomatoes
  • 10 dried chile de arbol
  • 1/4 cup of raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds), toasted
  • 2 teaspoons of dark coco powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of oragano
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
Start by broiling pableno chilies on high until skin is charred. Depending on your oven, this may take anywhere between 3 to 8 minutes. My oven generally takes about 5 minutes. If you don't know how long it would take, monitor the process carefully and take the peppers out when the skin is nicely blistered to black. If you have a gas stove, the peppers can be placed directly over the flames to char. Turn so that all sides of the peppers are charred. Remove the peppers and place in a food prep bowl and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let the peppers cool down in the bowl. After peppers cool down, remove skin, seeds and stem. Set aside.

Turn your oven to 400 degrees and roast tomatoes, tomatillos, and garlic for about 25 minutes or until the fruits are softened and lightly brown. In the meantime, remove the stems and seeds of chiles de arbol and soak in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove chiles de arbol and set aside. Reserve 1/2 cup of the soaking liquid. In a blender, process pableno peppers, roasted tomatoes, tomatillos, garlic, chiles de arbol, soaking liquid, toasted pepitas, coco powder and all the seasoning and spices. Blend until smooth. You can make the mole sauce up to this point in advance.

For the remaining components of tofu mole enchiladas, you'll need:
  • 6 flour tortillas
  • 1 block of extra firm tofu, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 15-ounce can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 portion of enchilada sauce (I used this recipe)
  • 1 cup of shredded Mexican blend cheeses
  • 1 tablespoon of canola oil
  • chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Begin by sauteing diced onions in canola oil until softened. Add mole sauce and let the sauce heat through. Add a bit of vegetable stock or water if the sauce gets too thick. Add tofu and pinto beans and cook for about 10 minutes, stir frequently. Meanwhile, ladle one third of the enchilada sauce into a rectangular baking dish and spread sauce evenly to cover the bottom of the dish. Divide tofu mole to about 6 equal portions. Fill each of the six tortillas with one portion of tofu mole and place each enchilada seam down into the baking dish. Ladle the remaining enchilada sauce on top. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Do not overbake. Sadly, mine were a bit overbaked. But they were still delicious! Garnish with chopped cilantro, if desired.

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