Foodie Friday Sunday

I meant to post this two days ago. It’s a recipe designed for the day after T-day. And although I say that using smoked turkey is important, that was just my inflated ego talking a few years ago. Use the leftover turkey you have. Richard Jehn

Turkey and Cabbage Molé Enchiladas (December 1997)

This is a rich, earthy dish designed with leftover turkey, after Thanksgiving or Christmas, in mind. The molé is a traditional Mexican style and may not suit some North American tastes; however, it does provide a unique culinary experience. And you will certainly feel like you’ve been to Oaxaca after you have eaten it. It is quite important to use smoked, barbequed bird for this recipe.

For the turkey stock, put on a small pot with a smoked, barbequed turkey wing in it (a couple of wings if you’re using smoked barbequed chicken, duck or capon, or if it’s a small turkey – see chapter 6 for techniques), well covered with water – simmer it for about 3 hours. You can then dip out bits of stock as you need it. Dice about 2-1/2 cups of the meat from the turkey (mix dark and white meat equally, or whatever you prefer) for the enchiladas (don’t use the meat used to make stock, which can be frozen for use later in a soup or stew).

4 ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded, sliced in half, and rehydrated
2 large cloves garlic (preferably elephant), finely diced
7 or 8 shallots, or one large onion, diced (shallots are best, if you can get them)
6 Roma tomatoes, roasted until soft, but not blackened
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon coriander
3/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/8 cup of toasted and salted pumpkin seeds
1 block of semi-sweet chocolate (Baker’s) or Ibarra chocolate, chopped
A dash or two of salt
Juice of 1 lime

In a small pot, sauté the finely diced shallots and garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil, while you are rehydrating the chiles [To rehydrate chiles, pour water that is not quite boiling over the stemmed and seeded chiles and let soak for 15 or 20 minutes.] and roasting the tomatoes in a very hot oven. Add all the spices to the frying shallots, then immediately add the now much softened and roasted tomatoes. Smash the tomatoes a bit with your wooden spoon to get some liquid in the pot. Of course, you have a cup of Richard’s special barbequed, smoked turkey stock available, which you need to add to the stuff in the pot. Add the pumpkin seeds. By now, the anchos are nicely rehydrated and should be chopped into small bits and added to the mixture, along with the soaking water. [Boiling water or over-roasting the chiles will make the chiles and soaking water bitter.] Simmer for 40 to 45 minutes, then stir in the chopped chocolate and keep stirring until it melts. [A word about the two recommended chocolates – Baker’s is truly semi-sweet and I prefer it for this recipe, while Ibarra is a Mexican sweet, sugary chocolate, and will still give a good result, but sweeter and a bit different.] This should be a wonderful smelling, earthy, rich, deep reddish-brown sauce. Pour it into a blender, perhaps after it has cooled for a few minutes, adding the salt and lime juice, then pulse until it turns into a pasty liquid.

Grate a cup-and-a-quarter of fresh cabbage, and add 3 medium-sized fresh diced Sandia or 2 poblano chiles (poblano chiles are frequently available at the corner market and make a fine substitute for the delicious Sandias, but since they are larger, use just two; note that in many places, fresh poblanos are called pasilla chiles). Mix the cabbage and chiles well. [Do not use jalapeños or habañeros, or any chile so hot for this dish, unless you really want spice.]

You will need 14 to 16 tortillas*, depending on how big you make each enchilada. Lightly coat the baking dish with butter, margarine or olive oil. Spread molé on the inside of each tortilla, then add turkey and the cabbage mix. Roll the tortillas and place them side-by-side in the baking dish until it is full. Pour the remaining molé over the top of the enchiladas and add 3/4 cup of turkey stock. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake them for 45 minutes at 400# F. Five minutes before they are finished baking, uncover them and crumble a half-cup of queso fresco evenly over the top of the enchiladas.

Serve with refried black beans, fresh chopped cilantro, a salsa rojo, a salsa verde, and diced onion or scallions (whichever you prefer). This will serve six adults comfortably, with the beans.

* A word about tortillas – if you have home-made, you will, of course, bake them in a dry cast-iron skillet (or on a cast-iron griddle) on the stove-top. If they are the packaged, store-bought variety, heat them for a minute a side to soften them, again without oil. I turn the burner to medium to medium-high. If you use a non-stick skillet, be cautious about making it too hot.

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