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Author Notes: Because who says January detox can't involve chocolate?! After a geologic era in graduate school, I am slowly cleaning out the dark corners of my pantry in preparation for a move and uncovered a jar of mole paste I inherited from someone else who skipped town without cracking it open. I was inspired by many helpful cooks on Chowhound who offered suggestions for reviving mole sauce from a jar. My household is largely veggie so an updating of spinach enchiladas seemed in order. Hope you enjoy!
Disclaimer: Though I am fully committed to expanding the role of chocolate in my diet, I am a mole novice. The internet seems to think that Dona Maria, while widely available, is barely a substitute for the real thing. The good news is that if you start with Dona Maria and jazz it up with ingredients already in your kitchen, the results can be a spicy, nutty, chocolate-deepened experience. If you've got better mole available to you, fantastic. If you've got your abuela's recipe, I'd love to see it in the comments below! —yeast lady
- 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and finely chopped, 1/4-1/2" dice
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 2 medium onions, halved, peeled and sliced longways
- 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans or a 14 oz can, drained
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 6 cups washed dark leafy greens (a mix of baby spinach, baby kale, and baby mustard greens is lovely, rough chop them if using more mature greens)
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups monterey jack or mild cheddar, divided
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 12-16 soft corn tacos
- 2 1/2 cups mole sauce, directions below
- Preheat oven to 350. Toss the butternut squash with 1 T of olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast on a cookie sheet for about 20 minutes until soft.
- In a large skillet or Dutch oven, saute garlic in remaining olive oil for 1 minute, then add onions. Cook on medium heat 2-3 minutes until just softening, then stir in black beans and cumin and saute until fragrant. Pile in the greens and let them wilt over the onion mixture until there’s no danger of losing leaves over the sides, then stir to incorporate. When the greens are soft and cozy with the onions, but still vibrant in color, stir in squash and cook another minute. Remove from heat and stir in nutmeg, ricotta, and ¾ c grated cheese. Generously salt and pepper.
- Pour mole sauce to lightly cover the bottom of a glass casserole dish. Place a soft taco on a clean plate or cutting board and add a generous amount of filling (2-3 heaping tablespoons) in a line down the center of the taco. Roll it up and place it more or less seam side down in the casserole dish. Repeat until you run out of filling or tacos, then pour a thin layer of mole sauce all over the rolled up tacos and sprinkle the grated cheese generously over the top.
- Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until bubbling. Serve with a sprinkle of pepitas and a bright citrusy salad on the side.
- 1/2 cup prepared mole paste like Dona Maria, available in the latin section of many national supermarkets
- 2 cups broth
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter (or more, to taste)
- 1 tablespoon dried ancho chile powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (adjust to taste)
- 1/2 banana, optional
- In a large glass pyrex, microwave broth on high for 1-2 minutes. Gradually whisk in mole paste until smooth. Add chocolate pieces and stir in until melted smooth, microwaving on low for 30 seconds at a time if necessary. Add peanut butter and stir, then add spices. (You could of course do all of the above in a saucepan on gentle heat. Just take care not to scorch it.) Do taste this as you go along and adjust based on your own preferences. For added sweetness, use an immersion or upright blender to blend some banana into the mole sauce.