Thursday, September 22, 2011

Quick Mole, Butternut, and Black Bean Enchiladas

If you have never heard of Mole, let me tell you, it’s a wonderful invention. It’s a blend of Mexican spices like chili and chocolate that just melt in your mouth and heat up your palate. If you don’t think that chocolate can be served for dinner, think again.

Normally, making Mole yourself would take hours. I saw a special on PBS where they made Mole from scratch and it took about 10 hours. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have that kind of time. This recipe is super quick and will give you that same taste with under a half an hour of prep time. The secret is in the sauce. Raisins and semi-sweet chocolate are added to the enchilada sauce to give it Mole flavor without much work.

I make enchiladas at least once a week and experiment constantly with whatever I have in the fridge. These were some of my best enchiladas. Even my picky eater liked it and those of you who have toddlers know that says a lot. I hope you like them, too. Here’s the recipe.

Mole Chicken, Butternut, and Black Bean Enchiladas

½ C raisins, plus a few extra for garnish
1 C water
½ C semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 can enchilada sauce
1 C butternut squash (or other sweet veggie)
12 cherry tomatoes
1 C corn (half a can)
1 can black beans, drained
1 C diced (or pulled) chicken
1 C Cheddar, Monteray Jack, or Mexican cheese plus ½ C for garnish
6 Spoonfuls of sour cream
Cilantro
6-8 Tortillas
Cumin, Paprika, and Chili spices

Optional, extra sour cream and guacamole

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. For the Mole, put water and raisins in a bowl and microwave for about 2-3 minutes. Add chocolate pieces and microwave, if necessary, another 30 seconds. Mix until chocolate melts.

3. Add this mixture to a food processor with the enchilada sauce and puree until smooth. If you don’t have a food processor and have a limited budget, think about the Ninja. I love my Ninja food processor. It’s tiny enough to not take up much space, but is perfect for things like Guacamole or chopping nuts. It has two blades that cut up anything. Also, make sure that you use a good enchilada sauce. Some sauces are too bitter. I like Old El Paso because it is a bit sweeter.

4. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with oil and then pour in one cup of the Mole sauce. Now it’s time to make the enchiladas.

5. Lay out 6-8 tortillas on your countertop. Take a normal dinner spoon and add a dollop of sour cream to each tortilla. Spread the sour cream around.

6. Distribute the chicken, black beans, butternut, corn, and cheese onto the tortillas in a line down the middle. Sprinkle on some cilantro. Sprinkle cumin, paprika, and chili spice on each tortilla. Now with the toppings in a horizontal line in front of you, fold in the left and right sides a couple of inches, grab the bottom of the tortilla and roll it up folding the top in under the toppings. Lay the enchiladas fold side down in the pan.

7. Pour the remaining Mole sauce over the enchiladas and use a spoon to make sure that all of the enchiladas are covered with sauce. Add some cheese over the top and sprinkle some raisins down the middle. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.

8. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and guacamole. Make sure you also spoon a bit of the Mole sauce over the enchilada on your plate. Enjoy!

Monday, September 19, 2011

My First Children's Book Update

I finally received the first hardcover of my book, "Ball! Ball! Ball!."

Although this is my first copy, it’s not the actual first book. I sent out an online draft of my book to a couple family members for review before it was complete. My mom sent me back afew ideas for changes. My brother Mark, however, was so excited about the book that he directly ordered a copy. So now if my book ever gets famous, I’ll have to buy the first copy off my brother before he sells it on Ebay.

Shutterfly does a pretty good job of making a photo book. The photos are of nice quality and the color is great. My only criticism is that one of the pages ripped out of the book when I opened it up to far. Nevertheless, for only about 30 dollars, I have a book that I made that I can read to my son. Not a bad deal!

I still haven’t found a publisher, yet. I’ve been doing research on how to find a good publisher and how to market your book. There is so much information out there, that it will most likely take me a while to find the best route.

Thanks to my readers for all of your tips. They have been very helpful. I’ll keep you all updated on further progress. :)