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Parsley Salsa Verde

Here’s a bright green parsley salsa verde made with shallots, capers, and lemon zest, and of course parsley, mixed with extra virgin olive oil and a light vinegar or lemon juice. Use it to brighten vegetables, soups, and pasta. It’s delicious with eggs, any style and spooned over slices of goat cheese to go with crackers.

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Family Memories, See’s Candies and Chocolate Penuche Cake

My mother in Orange County, California used to send her sister Aunt Jan in Seattle, Washington a huge See’s Candies solid chocolate Easter egg every year. Aunt Jan recalls that she bit off a piece at a time but that the candy didn’t last very long. When I was a girl, I don’t think I ever tasted one of those eggs, because Mom didn’t buy them for us–just for her chocoholic sister. I remember savoring chocolate assortments from See’s during the holidays, but I don’t remember going to the shop and buying them–I think they were gifts to our family.

If you know See’s Candies, it’s likely that you’ve lived in the western United States, or as they say these days, the left coast. You’ll find a See’s Candies shop with its familiar black and white storefront in malls and thriving city centers. There are even See’s kiosks in many western airports–for those last minute impulse gifts, I suppose. When I pass one of those kiosks I have a Pavlovian reaction–my mouth waters in memory. It’s a good thing they only sell packaged chocolate in the airport, because if there was an old-fashioned service counter, I’d have to stop to sample just the one.

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Potato and Eggplant Curry

About this time of September someone in Park City will ask me if the weekly Farmer’s Market is still going.  Yeah–this is peak harvest time and time to enjoy vegetable abundance! The farm stands are full of ripe huge tomatoes, peaches, pears, plums, butternut and spaghetti squash, bell peppers, the list goes on. Eggplants are gorgeous purple shiny globes, and potatoes–choose your variety. Both were inspiration for this recipe for delicious potato eggplant curry. Continue Reading…

Mole Enchiladas with Spinach, Potatoes and Carrots

Give your enchiladas some extra special love–instead of red or green enchilada sauce, give them mole! Here’s a casserole of corn tortillas stacked with vegetables and cheese, all coated with rich dark reddish-brown chocolate chile sauce–mole enchiladas with spinach, potatoes and carrots. 

Mole Enchiladas with Spinach, Potatoes and Carrots in casserole dish with one slice on serving spatula

You could call stacked enchiladas Mexican lasagna.  Layering the tortillas and fillings for stacked enchiladas is much easier compared to rolling the fillings up inside the tortillas.

A little mole goes in the layering and then a generous ladle of sauce is poured on top before baking. You will love how the earthy chile-forward mole balances the spinach bitterness and potato and carrot sweetness.

Vegetarian Mole Enchiladas with Spinach, Potatoes and Carrots, baked in the casserole dish

Make your own chile chocolate mole sauce or purchase a good quality concentrated mole paste and dilute it. The ratio is usually 1 part mole paste to 4 parts water or broth.

photo of Day of the Dead Altar--Mole Enchiladas with Spinach, Potatoes and Carrots

Day of the Dead Altar

Oaxaca, Mexico is one of the best cities in Mexico to celebrate the Day of the Dead. Many Mexican families gather for the November 2 holiday, to honor their deceased ancestors, relatives and friends. Day of the Dead, Dia de Los Muertos, is not a morbid celebration, but an all-night party, with huge feasts of tamales and chocolate and mole and flowers and incense and tequila!

This Mexican holiday brings out the best mole sauces. Each family has their own recipe or they order a custom mole paste from the noisy-busy specialty market where “homemade” chocolate and/or mole are ground while you wait.

Mexican cooks usually drape turkey or chicken with mole, though on occasion the unique sauce will show up in enchiladas, like these.

Mole Enchiladas with Spinach, Potatoes and Carrots one slice plated with fork and one bite out

Make it a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and cook something uniquely delicious!

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5 from 2 votes
Mole Enchiladas with Spinach, Potatoes and Carrots
Mole Enchiladas with Spinach, Potatoes and Carrots
Prep Time
40 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins
 

You could call these stacked enchiladas Mexican lasagna--enchilada flavors and fillings layered with tortillas instead of pasta. Serves about 8 persons.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican, Vegetarian
Keyword: mole, enchiladas, stacked enchiladas
Servings: 8 servings.
Ingredients
  • 2 to 3 cups homemade chile chocolate mole, or good quality purchased mole
  • 3 cups chopped potatoes (1/2-inch dice)
  • 1 cup chopped carrots (1/2-inch dice)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion , chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 bunch spinach or arugula , stems removed and discarded, leaves coarsely chopped, about 10 ounces
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 3/4 cup crumbled cotija or feta cheese
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Steam the potatoes and carrots separately until they are just tender to the bite, but not too soft, about 10 minutes.

  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Cook and stir the onions until they are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook and stir another minute or so. Stir in the potatoes and carrots and the spinach. Cover the pan and let the arugula wilt a few minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush some oil in a deep casserole dish. Ladle about 1/2 cup of sauce in the bottom.

  4. Lay a tortilla down, sprinkle a little about 1/3 cup of the vegetable mixture on top and then about a tablespoon of the cotija cheese. Spread with a few tablespoons of sauce. Lay down another tortilla, follow with vegetables and cheese and sauce, continuing this stacking and layering until you are out of filling. End with a tortilla dipped in the sauce. Sprinkle with more cheese.

  5. If there are leftover vegetables, toss them with some of the mole, and spoon them around the sides of the stack.

  6. Bake until the sauce begins to bubble around the edges, about 30 minutes.

Grilled Chard-stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

We are back safe from 16 days on the Colorado River, and integrating into regular daily living. Many of us river rats are still recovering from bruises and cuts and tweaked backs, but we are all sound and definitely relaxed. We have many Grand Canyon memories, among them a hot-as-Hades night preparing grilled chard-stuffed portobello mushrooms.

It was so hot we didn’t mind falling in the cold muddy river one bit. For cooking we were lucky to have a huge tarp shading the kitchen while we scraped the gills from a case of portobellos. Here is a variation of our river recipe, these grilled portobellos filled with potatoes, chard and spinach. Continue Reading…