Turkey Enchiladas with Molé Sauce

Tempting the Snowmen with Turkey Enchiladas with Molé Sauce.

The Eastern Shore farms would not be able to harvest as well as they do without the migrant workers. These Latino workers put in a hard day’s work so that you and I can buy those fresh vegetables. As a tribute to their culture, I decided to combine the traditional “American” turkey with a special sauce found throughout Mexico. This sauce is made in homes throughout the land and there are as many recipes as there are “casas.” Here is my version of…

Doug’s Famous Molé Sauce
4 red arbol chilés
2 New Mexico chilés
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. white onion, coarsely chopped
1 c. mango, peeled and cubed
1 c. cocktail peanuts
1/2 c. walnuts, shelled, chopped
2 c. chicken stock
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon clove
3 oz. dark chocolate
1/4 c. heavy cream

Turkey Enchiladas
4 cups turkey breast, roasted, shredded
2 cups Colby Jack cheese, shredded
3 cans green chilés (use the small cans)
8 flour tortillas (8 or 10 inch diameter)

Prepping the Peppers
Prepare the arbol and New Mexico chilés by placing them in a medium sauce pan filled halfway with water. Heat until the water starts to boil, then remove from heat and cover for 30 minutes.

Put on some gloves or put your hands in plastic baggies when handling the peppers. No need to get the oils from the peppers on your hands. It can be a tearful experience…
Drain the water and carefully remove the peppers. BE CAREFUL – THEY MAY STILL BE HOT.
Remove the stems. Slice open the peppers and scrape away the seeds. The skin/pulp is what you will need. Set aside until needed. (see recipe.)

Getting started on the Molé Sauce
Using a large sauce pan, heat the vegetable oil and then sauté the onion, mango, peanuts and walnuts, stirring occasionally, until the onions become translucent.
Add the chicken stock, followed by the arbol chilés and the New Mexico chilés, sesame seeds, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and clove. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove from heat. Cover. When cool, place in refrigerator and let the flavors meld together overnight.

The next dayFinishing the sauce and putting together the Turkey Enchiladas
Puree the sauce mixture, then strain into a medium sauce pan. Add a little more chicken stock or water to the mash if you are not getting much liquid dripping through the strainer. You want about a cup of liquid when you are done. Discard the solids.

Add the chocolate and the heavy cream. Using medium heat, stir constantly with a wooden spoon. Warm up the sauce until the chocolate and the cream have been totally incorporated. The sauce should be smooth and may look like a thick chocolate drink. Be careful to not scald the sauce! Remove from heat in order to assemble the enchiladas.

Steam the tortillas. I wrap them in damp paper towels and heat them in the microwave oven for 20 seconds or so. You could use a steamer if you want. You just need them pliable enough so that they roll up without cracking.

Take one tortilla, place a half cup of turkey and a half cup of shredded cheese in the center. Top with a touch of the green chilés, to taste. With a spoon, spread the mixture evenly on the tortilla. Roll the tortilla up like a cigar, but not that tight! Place in a baking dish large enough to hold 8 of the rolled up tortillas.

Complete all of the tortillas, placing them in the baking dish. Top with a little more cheese if you like, then slather the molé sauce on top and cover with foil. Bake (reheat, really) in the oven at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes.

This recipe makes 8 enchiladas and enough molé sauce for a lot more. Use what you want then freeze the rest for another time. Pairs well with black beans, corn and a nice glass of Toasted Head Merlot (2007.)

If you want a real adventure, pour some sauce in a coffee mug and take a swig! Buen Provecho!

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