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Wednesday Food: Enmoladas with corn salsa

Mole is one of those sauces that, when you have a taste for it, nothing else will satisfy.  This has been my experience in the last week– stimulated by daydreams of travel to Oaxaca and Puebla, and insufficiently quelled by diving into jars of marinara (if only I meant that literally).

The depth of flavor, balanced spice, velvety texture, and heavy viscosity of mole impart a uniqueness that differentiates it from anything remotely similar.  It’s the tall, dark stranger of Nightshade sauces.  The complexity and flavor depth come from the inclusion of no fewer than 20 ingredients– the primary ingredient being one or a variety of peppers (chiles), and the most notorious being chocolate or cocoa added at the end of cooking.  But it’s not mole without mixtures of spice from clove to cumin, ground nuts, onion, and laborious preparation.

I could go on hyperbolising this food that I happen to be particularly bonkers for, but as I have yet to find a favorite recipe I’ll focus on how I employed a prepared version.

An enmolada is an enchilada where mole replaces chile sauce (full disclosure: I can’t figure out if enmolada is just a fun bastardization of this enchilada variation or if that’s the correct descriptor).  The most important technique in preparing enchiladas is making sure the tortillas are heated so they become pliable when you are rolling them out– you can fry them or take a shortcut with the microwave.  Most often they’re prepared with chicken and cheese, but last night my audience was vegetarian so I filled them with soy chorizo and black beans.  After the tortillas have been mopped in sauce, filled and rolled, they are covered with slightly more sauce, a sprinkle of mild cheese, and baked.  Chopped green onion is a natural garnish.

Until you all help me find the perfect mole recipe, Larry’s Southwestern Sauces have a tasty prepared version.  This dish is rich and spicy and benefits from a cool, corn tomato salsa.  I improvised one last night but this recipe is simple and balanced.  Finally, there are dozens of beers that would pair beautifully with mole.  A smoked porter would replicate the intensity of the roasted pepper and chocolate, a clean APA would enhance the level of heat from spices, but a Negra Modela is quietly supportive and really lets the sauce stand out.


June 1, 2011 - Posted by | Wednesday Food

1 Comment

  1. I think that’s the correct descriptor. See also, enfrijolada, entomatada.

    Comment by jms | June 1, 2011

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