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Last week I posted a picture on Facebook that was sort of unkind.  It was pre-baked enchiladas with a homemade mole sauce.  I received lots of comments and it really WAS delicious.  But the requests for recipe … this is one of those things that I “wing.”  I’ve never really measured it out, so I’m going to do the best I can with the memorized recipe and go from there.  If you can put up with my “pinch” and “season until it tastes good,” you’ll do fine with it.  If you can’t… I’m sorry in advance to frustrate you.  😉

The beautiful thing about this recipe is that you can healthify it or leave it in its original state.  If you’ve read here for any length of time or know me in person, you know that I consider a recipe to merely be a “suggestion” and if there’s a way to get whole grains in to something, I will find it.

Another thing is that if you don’t want to make the mole sauce (but why would anyone NOT want to make it?  It’s SO tasty and easy!), you can use pre-prepared enchilada sauce.  US grocery stores sell it in the can and it’s really not bad at all.  I used it for years before I began making my own sauce and the recipe is still crazy delicious.  Mole (pronounced mo-lay) sauces are unique to Mexican cuisine and have a tomato base (typically) with complex spices and flavours, including cocoa powder.  My mole sauce is based on a recipe I found many years ago and doesn’t use fresh peppers like mole sauces in restaurants typically do, but it’s good, easy to use either food storage or pantry-spices, and really kicks up the whole enchilada (sorry, pun fully intended).

Sue’s Chicken & Rice Enchiladas
  • 4 c. cooked brown rice (white also works)
  • 16 oz. salsa – I use fresh, but I live in Arizona where it’s easy to find
  • 8 oz cooked & shredded chicken
  • 8 oz cooked black beans (from my food storage)
  • 16 oz. shredded cheese (any type except swiss or mozzarella), divided
  • 20 flour tortillas (the smaller taco size ones

Stir the salsa, shredded chicken, black beans, and rice together.  When the mixture has cooled, add in half of the shredded cheese and stir well.  With a scoop or spoon, begin to fill the tortillas.  I’ve found that approximately 1/4 c. of filling is plenty for one tortilla – you don’t want to overfill them.  Fold the tortilla’s sides in and turn it seam-side down on a baking tray.  Continue and line up the tortillas until you’re out of filling or tortillas, or both.  If you run out of tortillas before filling, you can always bake the filling in a ramekin and serve it that way.  :)

Sue’s Mole Sauce
  • 15 oz. tomato puree or sauce (if you use a puree, you’ll want to thin the final product out a bit with water)
  • 3 T. cocoa powder
  • ½ t. cinnamon
  • ½ t. garlic powder
  • 2 T. chili powder
  • ½ t. cayenne pepper (more or less, to taste)
  • 1 T. sea salt (I like Redmond’s Real Salt)
  • 3 T. fresh oregano, torn or chopped

This sauce will come together slowly – be patient and use a wire whisk.  The cocoa powder, garlic powder, and cinnamon are somewhat hard to combine – if you try to speed it up, you’ll end up with lumps or a mess on the counter.  Don’t ask me how I know this; just trust me. Taste your sauce as you go – if you think it needs a little more or less of something, make adjustments per your taste.  This sauce is NOT overpowering, but it is complex and will thicken up a bit in the oven, so if you need to thin it with water, feel free.  You should subtly taste the cocoa and cinnamon – it’s not a sweet sauce, but it adds a smoky depth to the sauce and a complexity that I’ve not been able to create with other spices or seasonings.

Whether you make the mole sauce or use a canned enchilada sauce, you’ll want to generously ladle the sauce over the enchiladas.  When you’ve used up all of your sauce, sprinkle the last 8 oz of cheese over your pre-baked beauties and preheat your oven to 300F.

Bake the pans for approximately 20 minutes – everything in the enchiladas is already cooked, so you’re just heating everything all the way through.  Serve with salsa, sour cream, and a bit of hot sauce and you have heaven on a plate.  :)

¡Buen provecho! (that’s bon appetit to you French-speakers)

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