- 12 to 15 mild to medium dried chiles, like New Mexico, mulatto, pasilla, guajillo, or ancho (or a combination), toasted, soaked, and cleaned [Pretty sure I picked up some damn expensive New Mexican's at Whole Foods. Now that I've discovered this wonderful bodega in East Boston, I'm never spending that much on dried chiles again.]
- 2 cups assorted nuts, like peanuts, almonds, pecans, walnut, pine nuts, and hazelnuts [Used the remainder of the unshelled peanuts I used for Peanut Soup, Senegalese Style. Plus I topped it off with a cup of sunflower seeds.]
- 1/4 cup tahini or sesame seeds [Used sesame seeds I had on hand rather than buying tahini]
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder or chopped unsweetened chocolate [I used cocoa powder here. I thought it odd that Bittman didn't suggest buying Mexican chocolate. Trying to make it easy for the plebs?]
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 1 head garlic, peeled
- 4 plum tomatoes, cored (canned are fine)
- 2 thick slices white bread (stale is fine)
- 1 quarter vegetable stock or water, plus more as needed [Hmm, again I de-vegetarianised the dish with boxed chicken stock.]
- 1/4 cup neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn, plus more for frying
- 3 or 4 bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground allspice
- 2 teaspoons anise seeds [I swear that I have a distinct memory of buying this at Harvest in Central Square, but it certainly wasn't on my overstocked spice shelf or logged in the list I keep in my planner.]
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Brown sugar as needed (optional)
- 24 small corn tortillas, plus more if any break
- 4 cups sweet potatoes, cooked, mashed, and seasoned
- 1/2 cup crumbed queso fresco for garnish
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion or scallion for garnish [I used radishes instead since they are my favorite with Mexican food and already had some on hand.]
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
- Lime wedges for garnish [Didn't use the last two ingredients.]
Toasting the dried peppers.
A couple of them blew up like a balloon.
Covered the peppers with hot water. I put a plate on top to keep them submerged and let them soften until I was ready to deal with them.
I would've have saved me some prep I realize if I had used shelled nuts, but these were around.
First batch in the blender: nuts, onion, garlic, and bread.
The debris after peeling a whole head of garlic.
First batch blended.
Peppers, tomatoes, and cocoa powder. Why bother washing out the blender container when it's all going in the same place?
Second batch blended.
Cook over largely low heat for 20 minutes until deeply browned and softened.
Add the broth. I probably should've kept the pepper soaking liquid and used that.
An hour of simmering.
Boil sweet potatoes until tender.
Mashed with my brand new potato masher (No food mill yet).
Frying the tortillas in oil until softened and pliable.
On a pile of paper towels. Maybe I should've layered them a bit more, but I patted the tortillas dry as I worked.
Filling the enchiladas with 2 tablespoons of the sweet potatoes.
Ran out of sweet potatoes and used straight up scrambled eggs after. Bittman includes eggs as a variation but only as an addition to the cheese.
Unsurprisingly I was happier with the sweet potato enchiladas than the egg ones.
Covering the bottom with a thin layer of mole.
Enchiladas filled and rolled with half the casserole covered with sauce.
The remaining sauce. After nearly finishing the enchiladas by the time I write this entry, I'm contemplating thinning the sauce out a bit and braising chicken tenders in it.
Already sprinkled some of the queso fresco on before I remembered to take a photo.
Queso fresco and radishes.
Smothered in some of the extra mole.
I thought the mole was really bitching until I gradually worked my was through the leftovers. Nearly worth the enormous amount of prep that went into it.