Enchiladas with Mole Sauce

Homemade enchiladas are a new favorite on the menu around here.  We have made them with pork shoulder, ground beef, ground bison, and shredded chicken.  You need to make the Mole sauce first, but you should have enough for 2 different meals.  Keep the leftover sauce in the fridge until you are ready to make another batch.

Pork Enchiladas

Ingredients

  • 4 to 6 lb. pork shoulder
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 batch mole sauce (recipe follows)
  • 1 batch enchilada sauce (recipe follows)
  • 10-12 Tortillas, I prefer flour, but corn may be used
  • shredded Mexican style cheese
Directions
Place pork shoulder in crockpot, cover with mole sauce and chicken stock.  Let cook as long as you can.  When ready, shred pork, mixing in the sauce and juices.  Remove any large chunks of fat and or bone.  
Spray baking dish with non stick spray.  Fill tortillas with meat and place in pan, seam side down.  Cover with enchilada sauce and cheese.  Bake at 350° until cheese is browned.
Ground Beef or Bison Enchiladas

Brown ground meat in skillet, adding mole sauce once meat is cooked.  Continue with above recipe.


Mole Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks, seeds and ribs removed
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, cut in half- for more heat leave the seed in, for less heat, remove them
  • 2 plum tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup roasted, unsalted cashews
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1 ripe plantain, cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Water if necessary
Directions
On a roasting pan, drizzle peppers and tomatoes with oil and roast in a 375° oven until slightly charred, turning once.  Remove from oven and let cool.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade, process all ingredients until smooth.  Add water to adjust consistency.

Enchilada Sauce

Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder (more as desired)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 10 oz tomato paste
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups chicken stock

    Directions
    Heat oil in a saucepan until hot, add in flour, stirring constantly until thickened.  Add chili powder, tomato paste, oregano, cumin, and salt, stirring to heat thoroughly.  Slowly add in stock, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes, adding additional stock if needed.


    Lentil & Sausage Herbed Farro

    Like most people, I first learned about Polyface Farms in Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma.  Our local organic grocery stocks Polyface and I’ve been trying to think of a reason to buy some.  I stumbled upon this idea when looking for ways to use up the lentils and bell peppers that we had on hand.  This dish turned into one of my favorites.  Without the red peppers, it would be visually unappealing, but the flavors are fantastic.  I’d like to think it’s my creation, but I’m sure it has more to do with Polyface’s delicious pork product.

    Lentil & Sausage Herbed Farro
    Idea originated from Luna’s Cafe

    3 cups chicken stock
    3/4 cup farro
    1 cup lentils (or Sprouted Bean Trio)
    1 cup chicken stock
    1 cup water
    1 lb Polyface Farms Breakfast sausage
    lots of fresh herbs- rosemary, thyme, basil
    1 red pepper, cut into strips

    In a large saucepan, bring 3 cups of chicken stock to a boil and add farro. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes, until the farro is tender and chewy.

    In a medium saucepan, add lentils and 1 cup water and 1 cup chicken stock to cover. Bring to a boil, simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the lentils are tender.

    Combine farro and lentils; add fresh herbs and freshly ground pepper.  Keep warm.

    In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium high heat.  Add sausage and cook until no longer pink.  Add sausage to farro and lentils, reserving drippings.  In the same skillet, crisp pepper strips in sausage drippings.  Serve peppers over farro mixture. 

    Sausage Making

    Last week I took another fantastic class at the Culinary Institute of Virginia’s Casual Gourmet.  The class was How to Make Mozzarella & Sausage.  I was on the phone early the next morning in search of hog casings to make sausage for the holiday weekend.  I lucked out and found 2 local meat packers that carry them in stock! 

    The recipes from the class can be found here.

    The at home sausage making experience was shockingly simple, although messy.  Make sure you have assistants, as you need a lot of hands to stuff the sausage using the KitchenAid attachment.

    Jenny’s Sausage
    2 lbs pork butt, cut into 1 inch cubes
    garden fresh herbs–marjoram, parsley, basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary, sage
    1 tsp chipotle powder
    freshly ground salt & pepper
    1/4 red bell pepper, diced
    1/4 green bell pepper, diced
    hog casings

    Rinse casings in fresh water and soak for at least 30 minutes.  This helps dilute the salt coating. 

    Preheat oven to 350.

    Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Using KitchenAid meat grinder, pass mixture through the large disk first, then the small disk.  Let fall into a bowl surrounded by a bowl of ice.  This keeps the mixture very cold and makes it easier to work with.

    Slowly feed casing onto large KitchenAid sausage stuffer tube, minimizing air pockets.  With KitchenAid running, slowly pass ground meat mixture into the tube, working quickly and efficiently to minimize air build up in the sausage.  Allow sausage to lie on flat surface and section into ideal sizes. 

    Bake sausage in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 145.  If needed, prick air pockets.  Finish sausage on grill or open fire. 

    Important Notes

    • Keep meat cold!  Do this by working quickly and keeping your bowl nestled in a bowl of ice.  If you have a fine enough ice crusher, add crushed ice while you are grinding the meat.  This adds moisture and keeps it super cold.  Be careful, though, my fridge crushed ice was not fine enough.
    • Pricking the sausage is the last think you want to have to do.  Minimize air pockets and do not use a fork to handle the sausages.  Holes cause the juices to run out and the sausage to become dry.
    • Before feeding onto the tube, find the end of the casing and allow water to run into it.  This helps untangle the casing.

    The one disappointment of the class was that we didn’t make our own curds for the mozzarella.  I have unsuccessfully made mozzarella twice, so I was really hoping this class would help me.  The Chef teacher said that I probably didn’t let the milk sit long enough to fully curdle.  So, I will be tackling the recipe again later this week.

    Sausage Tortellini Soup

    This is a super simple soup which takes virtually no time at all to cook. 

    Sausage Tortellini Soup
    2 links sausage of choice
    16 oz beef broth
    2 small zucchini, diced
    1 bell pepper, diced
    2 carrots, diced
    1 can diced tomatoes
    1 can tomato sauce
    fresh or frozen tortellini of choice

    Lightly sear sausage in a skillet with olive oil to give it more flavor.  Combine sausage and remaining ingredients except tortellini in a saucepan and simmer gently until vegetables start to softened.  Add tortellini and cook until done.

    Cinnamon Apple Pork Tenderloin

    Here’s a simple, delicious pork tenderloin dish that can be adapted to the slow cooker.

    Cinnamon Apple Pork Tenderloin
    1-1 1/2 pound pork tenderloin
    2 tbsp cornstarch
    1 tbsp ground cinnamon
    2 tbsp brown sugar
    2 cooking apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
    2 tbsp dried cranberries

    Preheat oven to 400. 
    Place the pork tenderloin in a roasting pan or casserole dish.  Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl and stir.  Spoon the mixture over the pork. 
    Cover and bake 30 minutes. 
    Remove lid and spoon the apple mixture back over the tenderloin.
    Return to the oven and bake 15-20 mins longer or until a meat thermometer registers 155 degrees.

    Orange, Cumin, & Cilantro Pork Tenderloin

    I made this for a cookout this weekend with roasted potatoes & carrots. Yummy! It ended up serving about 15 people with pretty generous portions. Perfect for a crowd!

    Orange, Cumin, & Cilantro Pork Tenderloin
    Adapted from Emeril Lagasse

    1 3 1/2- 4 pound boneless pork loin
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 tablespoon kosher salt
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
    1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
    1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
    1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
    1/4 cup white wine vinegar
    2 tablespoons orange marmalade
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

    Instructions
    Preheat a grill to medium.

    Rub the pork loin well on all sides with the olive oil, and season it with the kosher salt, cumin, and black pepper. Place the pork loin, fat side down, onto the grill and cook for 5 minutes. Rotate the pork 90 degrees and cook for another 5 minutes. Then turn the pork over and cook for a final 5 minutes. Remove the pork from the grill and place it in a small grill-proof roasting pan that holds it snugly.

    In a medium bowl, combine the orange juice, lime juice, vinegar, and marmalade, and whisk well to combine. Drizzle the citrus mixture over the pork. Place the roasting pan directly on the grill, close the lid of the grill, and cook for 5 minutes. Raise the lid and baste the pork with the pan juices. Close the lid and cook for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, basting every 5 minutes, until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees. (Take care not to overcook it.)

    Remove the pork from the grill. Add the cilantro to the roasting pan, and swirl it in the pan juices. Allow the pork to rest for 7 to 10 minutes before slicing. Serve the pork thinly sliced, drizzled with pan juices.

    Pork and Chorizo Kebabs, Quinoa Stuffed Peppers, and Romesco Sauce

    Pork and Chorizo Kebabs
    adapted from Everyday Food
    3 boneless pork loin chops, cut into small pieces
    2 tbsp olive oil
    1 tbsp red wine vinegar
    coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
    4 links chorizo sausage, cut into small pieces

    In a large bowl, combine pork, vinegar, salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour or in refrigerator overnight. Thread meat onto skewers, alternating. Grill over medium heat, turning occasionally, 12-13 minutes until pork is cooked through.

    Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
    Adapted from my good friend The Simple Gourmand

    1/3 cup slivered almonds
    1 1/2 cups water
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
    4 large bell peppers (a variety is nice)
    1 teaspoon olive oil
    1 package (5 oz) fresh spinach, tough stems removed, torn into large pieces
    1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

    Heat oven to 375°F.

    In small nonstick skillet, toast almonds over medium heat, stirring often, 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly toasted. Tip onto a plate and let cool.

    In a saucepan, heat water and salt to boiling. Place quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer; rinse under cold running water 2 minutes. Stir quinoa into boiling water. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 20 minutes or until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Uncover and set aside.

    Fill a saucepan half full with water; heat to boiling. Cut off and reserve tops of peppers. Remove seeds and ribs. Add peppers and tops to boiling water; cook 5 minutes. Drain. In same saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add spinach to saucepan; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until wilted and any water evaporates. Remove saucepan from heat. Stir goat cheese, almonds and quinoa into spinach mixture.

    Arrange peppers in shallow baking dish. Spoon stuffing into peppers, mounding to fill; replace tops. Bake 25-30 minutes or until peppers are tender and stuffing is warmed.

    Romesco SauceAdapted from my good friend The Simple Gourmand
    1 oz French bread chunks, crusts removed
    3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
    1/3 cup toasted almonds
    1/4 cup drained diced tomatoes
    1 red pepper
    1 tsp paprika
    Pinch of chipotle powder
    1/4 cup olive oil

    Cut pepper, removing tops, seeds, and ribs. Place on baking sheet covered with aluminum foil. Place baking sheet under broiler, and broil until the skins have charred. Remove from oven, wrap pepper in the foil it was roasted on and let stand 10 minutes. When cooled just enough to handle, open foil and remove skins from pepper.

    In a bowl, combine the bread with the red wine vinegar. Put the toasted almonds in the food processor and pulse until grainy. Add the bread, tomatoes, red pepper, paprika and chipotle. Puree until smooth. With the motor running, pour the oil in a slow stream and process until smooth. Serve hot or refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.