Wednesday, January 6, 2010

corn and goat cheese enchiladas with reddish brown "mole"

This is adapted from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, and know I should have gotten suspicious when I saw that it took less than a day to make. Now, I've never been a big mole person myself, but I have friends who've gone far down that path, and it's rare that a good one takes under a good farm workday over slow heat to really come into itself. This recipe gave that part of the cooking like 20 minutes or so, in no way enough to get the flavors all grooving together. It also involves no seeds or nuts or whole chiles. But then again, I don't really like mole enough to care how pure it is, and it's a weeknight, and I had some extra red chile sauce on hand from a trip to ABQ, so everything's fine. There's lots of cheese, there's piñons and corn and onions and garlic and cilantro, how bad can you fuck that up?

"Mole"
1.5t each: coriander, anise, cumin, Mexican oregano, all toasted and ground
1 onion, fine dice
2-3 cloves garlic
1 oz. Mexican chocolate
cinnamon to taste
1/2c red chile sauce, plus more to taste
salt
sherry or red-wine vinegar

Cook onion till it's getting clear, then add garlic and spices and cook till fragrant. Remove from heat, add chile and some water, and bring to a boil. Cook it down slowly, then when it's getting pretty thick add the chocolate in chopped up pieces, stirring to incorporate, and then a little vinegar. Keep cooking, very low, then when everything is soft as can be, puree it all in a blender and then put it back on the heat. Depending on preference (and remembering that this is going over enchiladas) thin with water or thicken with time, and adjust seasoning. If possible, put it away for a few days to allow the magic of compound interest do its work.

Filling
1/4c raisins, soaked in brandy and/or warm water
1/3c pine nuts, coarse chopped and lightly toasted
1 onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1.5c corn off the cob
1.5c shredded pale mild cheese (I used a tasty morel mushroom jack)
2 c soft goat cheese/chevre/chopped and screwed feta
cilantro
12 corn tortillas
oil for to fry in
sour cream
s&p
chile powder

Once the raisins are tumid, drain and then briefly go over them with a knife and add them to the piñons in a bowl big enough for everything else. Saute the onion, then throw in the garlic, then the corn. Cook for a bit over reasonably high heat, to get some brown on the corn if possible. Season as you see fit with salt, pepper, chile powder, whatever else. Add to the bowl, along with the goat cheese, a cup of the shredded cheese, and good amount of chopped cilantro. Check seasonings.

Preheat oven to 375, and start heating a good amount (at least 1/4") of oil in a pan than can handle it. One by one, dip the tortillas in the oil for a few seconds, just long enough to saturate and soften, and remove to drain the oil. (Lower fat method: use a pan of warm red chile sauce diluted with water for to dipping. Since red chile is precious to me, and I'm a fat fuck, I went for the more traditional oil method.)

Put filling into tortillas one by one, rolling and setting seam side down in a casserole (a dozen fits a 9x13 perfectly). Pour/spoon mole over the top, then the remaining shredded cheese. Bake uncovered 25-30 mins. Plate, fork, sour cream.