I would like to finish this red mole series with a few suggestions on how to doctor any mole paste, because, in full disclosure, sometimes a batch might not turn out so well. Before yelping in distress, it is worthwhile trying some of the following steps to compensate for lacking or overwhelming flavours, no matter how forlorn the paste might seem; these suggestions are also applicable when starting with a commercial paste, strategies that even restaurants admit to use to improve mole pastes out of a jar:
• If the overall flavour is dull, fry the paste in oil or lard for a couple of minutes. Adding a scoop of tomato paste or broth might also help.
• If the paste is too sweet, add a few fried hot peppers, ground with a little water or broth, such as dry chipotle (not pickled), or morita.
• If the paste is too spicy, add sugar or tomato paste.
• If the paste is too runny, cook for longer times, and/or crumble a roasted or fried tortilla soaked in a little hot water or broth, smash into a paste and then incorporate to the paste. Adding ground nuts (almond, peanuts, etc.) also helps in this case.
• For colour, peppers give the paste their character so, the darker the peppers, the darker the mole paste. Frying the ingredients for longer times to allow some charring also lends depth, not only in terms of colour, but also regarding smokiness.
Besides adding it in stews, another very traditional way to use red mole is as an enchilada sauce, so much, that in Central Mexico an enchilada is by default made with red mole, unless otherwise specified. The proper name for this dish, though, would be “enchilada de mole rojo” – “red mole enchilada” or even more specific “enmolada roja” – “red enmolada”, where the term enmolada is an adorable adjective to describe that something is prepared “in mole”.
Red Mole Enchiladas – Enmoladas rojas
Ingredients (Single portion)
1 cup prepared red mole (see recipe above, or from the jar, or doctored to personal taste)
1 cup chicken meat; cooked and shredded (omit for vegetarian option)
3 corn tortillas; warm
1 tbsp vegetable oil or lard (optional)
3 tbsp white onion; finely sliced
¼ cup fresh cheese (such as Cotija, panela or feta); crumbled
Warm up mole in a small pan; keep it simmering at very low heat. If using chicken, either warm up in the microwave oven and reserve, or drop in the mole sauce and let simmer for a couple of minutes (photo below, left). In a frying pan, warm up oil (or lard) over medium heat; fry the warm corn tortillas, one at a time, until just slightly crisp but still pliable (this step is optional, photo below, right):
Dip each tortilla in the mole (phot below, left), fill with one third of the meat (if using), then roll. Place on serving plate, and cover with the rest of the mole (photo below, right):
Top with onions, and sprinkle with crumbled cheese:
This used to be one of my favourite Sunday brunch dishes when I was a kid. My mom is a believer of adding greens to almost anything, and enchiladas were not the exception. She always included a big mound of thinly chopped lettuce as a topping (as seen at the top of the post), and I must say that it complements the mole quite nicely, so I have continued the tradition, and my enchiladas (especially red mole) usually include lettuce:
Mmmmh, this plate makes me feel like I just took a flight back to Mexico and into my mom’s kitchen! It is such a pleasant combination, I could even picture a low-carb chicken and mole salad, or lettuce rolls, stuffed with chicken, mole and all the toppings. Now, those sound like blog post ideas to explore soon.
I am also joining Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop with co-hosts Beverly @ Eclectic Red Barn, Sinea @ Ducks in a Row, Tammy @ My Life Abundant, Jennifer @ Engineer Mom, Cindy @ Simple Steps for Living Life, Penny @ Penny’s Passion and Le Cultivateur