Mushroom Enchiladas with Pumpkin Seed Mole {Pipián Verde}

If there were ever a time for comfort food, it’s today.

StellaOur family dog, Stella Rose, died Monday evening, just one day after her thirteenth birthday. My sisters and I were informed of her passing last night, and while I had already written half a post about these enchiladas, suddenly another rant about the lack of quality Mexican food in New York City seems so…trivial.

StellaBut! This is a food blog, so I am going to talk about enchiladas anyway.

StellaBefore I do though, let me say that I loved this happy little dog with all my heart and that I am so glad she was part of our family. Dinners at home in Fort Worth won’t be the same without the jingle of her collar as she wanders under the table looking for scraps and scratches between the ears. She was a mess–but a sweet mess–and she will be missed by many.

Mushroom Enchiladas with Pumpkin Seed Mole {Pipián Verde}So today, let’s eat comfort food. For me, that’s usually something Tex-Mex or Mexican-inspired. On this terribly difficult day, these Mushroom Enchiladas with Pumpkin Seed Mole {Pipián Verde} totally fit the bill.

Mushroom Enchiladas with Pumpkin Seed Mole {Pipián Verde}This recipe is my at-home take on my favorite dish from Alma, a wonderful Mexican restaurant on the western edge of Brooklyn. In fact, it may be the only Mexican restaurant in New York City that I would actually call wonderful. Alma’s menu doesn’t really cross over into Tex-Mex territory, but that doesn’t matter when there are blow-your-mind-fantastic vegan enchiladas to be had.

Mushroom Enchiladas with Pumpkin Seed Mole {Pipián Verde}While I’m not usually interested in enchiladas that don’t involve copious amounts of melted cheese, I make an exception for these. With all the meaty (and meatless!) goodness from the 2+ pounds of mushrooms, the tender corn tortillas, and the earthy, spicy pumpkin seed mole,* there certainly isn’t any lack of flavor. And since I am currently trying to improve my eating habits, these are a great way to get a few extra nutrients into my diet.

*Note: Mole (pronounce moh-leh) is a name for a variety of Mexican sauces made from chili peppers, fruits, nuts, and/or seeds. Mole made from pumpkin seeds (pepitas) is called pipián.

Mushroom Enchiladas with Pumpkin Seed Mole {Pipián Verde}Mushroom Enchiladas with Pumpkin Seed Mole {Pipián Verde}As with most from-scratch enchilada recipes, Mushroom Enchiladas with Pumpkin Seed Mole {Pipián Verde} are an undertaking. Start-to-finish, it takes me just over two hours to make a batch. This process can be shortened by preparing the mushrooms a day ahead, but I don’t recommend making the pumpkin seed mole in advance. Don’t let that deter you–it really doesn’t take much time to make the sauce.

Mushroom Enchiladas with Pumpkin Seed Mole {Pipián Verde}Just roast a bunch of jalapeños, a poblano, half an onion, some garlic, and some pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)…

Mushroom Enchiladas with Pumpkin Seed Mole {Pipián Verde}Mushroom Enchiladas with Pumpkin Seed Mole {Pipián Verde}then blitz it all with some cilantro, spices, and vegetable stock…

Mushroom Enchiladas with Pumpkin Seed Mole {Pipián Verde}pour it all over the mushroom enchiladas and bake for twenty minutes or so.

Mushroom Enchiladas with Pumpkin Seed Mole {Pipián Verde}Mushroom Enchiladas with Pumpkin Seed Mole {Pipián Verde}Mushroom Enchiladas with Pumpkin Seed Mole {Pipián Verde}If you really can’t imagine enchiladas without cheese, you may sprinkle some queso fresco over the top. I, however, prefer to garnish these with more toasted pepitas. I like the extra crunch. And I think they’re pretty.

Mushroom Enchiladas with Pumpkin Seed Mole {Pipián Verde}I have made these enchiladas twice in the last two weeks and I’m still thinking about them. This is comfort food that nourishes my body and soothes my soul–on a day like today, I can’t ask for anything more.

Mushroom Enchiladas with Pumpkin Seed Mole {Pipián Verde}Rest in peace, sweet little old lady dog.Stella

Mushroom Enchiladas with Pumpkin Seed Mole {Pipián Verde}
makes about 12 enchiladas, 4-6 servings

Mushroom Filling:
36 ounces mushrooms (I used white button, cremini, and shiitake)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder (or any other chile or chili powder)
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 Kosher or sea salt

Pumpkin Seed Sauce/Pipián Verde:
4 jalapeño or serrano peppers, stems removed
1 poblano pepper, stem and seeds removed
1/2 large white onion, peeled and sliced in half
5 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/3 cups raw pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2 cups low sodium vegetable stock, divided

For Assembly:
vegetable or canola oil
12-14 corn tortillas
2-3 tablespoons pepitas, toasted

Clean and thinly slice mushrooms. Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and swirl to coat. Working in batches, brown the mushrooms. Season with cumin, chile powder, cayenne, and salt before removing from heat. Set aside.

Make the sauce. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.

Make the sauce. Slice jalapeños and poblano in half lengthwise. Slice 1/2 white onion into two pieces. Place peppers and onion, along with unpeeled garlic cloves, on prepared pan. Drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil. Roast 20-25 minutes.

Place pepitas on an ungreased rimmed baking sheet. Roast 5 minutes, until fragrant. They may make a faint popping/squeaking sound as they cook.

Transfer pepitas and vegetables to a high-powered blender. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, cilantro, dried oregano, cumin, optional cayenne, salt, and 1 cup of vegetable stock. Blend until thick and velvety. Add remaining stock and blend until smooth. Set aside.

Assemble the enchiladas. Pour 1/2-inch of vegetable or canola oil into a heavy-bottomed skillet. Heat over medium-high heat. Use tongs to briefly fry each tortilla for five seconds per side before setting aside on a plate.

Grease a 9×13-inch casserole or baking dish. Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce over the bottom of the pan. Working with one tortilla at a time, top with 2-3 tablespoons of mushrooms, roll tightly, and place seam-side-down in prepared pan. Repeat process until all mushrooms have been used. Top with sauce and cover the pan with foil. Bake 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 5-10 minutes, until golden at the edges. Scatter more toasted pepitas over the top. Let cool ten minutes before serving.

Enchiladas are best the day they are made. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Mushroom Enchiladas with Pumpkin Seed Mole {Pipián Verde}

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