That moment when you cook identical vegan and vegetarian dishes and it takes you several bites to figure out which is which.
OK, ok, enough internet meme clichès, but seriously, this recipe was an epic triumph. Creamy cashews blended with sweet mango and spicy ancho chile smother corn tortillas stuffed with crumbled tofu or queso fresco. Sprinkle some salty pepitas on top, and you are in business. This recipe looks pretty dramatic, but I promise it’s way easy. You’ll dirty a few dishes along the way, but all-together this whole recipe should only take you about about half an hour of actual work. The rest is just waiting.
I went back and forth a few times while planning it out, torn between using tofu as a filling to make it vegan, or queso fresco, making it vegetarian. I had a suspicion that the tofu would do great, but I knew that my husband, Scott, and our house-mate, Lauren, would appreciate the cheese. In the end, I made two kinds, which was really fun because I got to compare them side-by-side.
The taste test totally fluffed up my cooking ego, since the difference between the two dishes was pretty minute. To be honest, the cheese enchiladas were slightly better, but only by a tiny bit. The texture was a little firmer than the tofu, and the flavor matched the other ingredients a touch more than the tofu did. Otherwise, it was pretty close to a draw. Vegans, rejoice.
P.S. You know what else is giving me a big head? This video. There’s nothing quite like a guy with giant binoculors singing about how you are a spicy hot she-dragon.
P.P.S. I just realized there are also gluten-free! Oh shizzy!
Mango Mole Enchiladas
Makes about eight enchiladas (enough to serve four people)
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cup pureed mango*
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar or palm sugar
- 2 to 4 teaspoons ancho chile powder
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 14 ounces of firm tofu -or- queso fresco
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh scallon, sliced
- 1 tablespoon Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acid
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 8 corn tortillas
- 1/4 cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds), roasted and salted
*You can use fresh or frozen mangos for this. I’d estimate that you need at least two large mangos to make this much puree.
- Soak the cashews in water and refrigerate overnight, or for at least four hours.
- If you are using tofu, remove it from the package, and press it between several layers of paper towel (top and bottom). Place a weight on top of the brick (a container of leftovers works well) and let it drain for at least 10 minutes before using it. The more time it gets to drain the better, though, so if you can give it longer that will make it even better. It’s easiest just to leave the tofu in the fridge along with the cashews the night or morning before.
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Drain the cashews, then put them into a blender or food processer, along with the mango, garlic, tahini, sugar, anch chile, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Blend until well pureed, adding the vegetable stock a little at a time, as needed. (This might take several minutes.) When the mixture is very smooth, add the remaining veggie stock, and puree just a little more to mix it in.
- In a large bowl, combine the tofu or queso with the cilantro, scallions, liquid amino, oregano, red pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss the ingredients well to combine.
- Transfer the mole sauce to a bowl, then line up the tortillas, sauce, and filling all in a row, ending with the casserole dish you’ll be baking everything in.
- Dip the tortillas into the sauce, place them into the casserole dish, fill them with several tablespoons of the filling (as much as you can comfortably stuff inside) then gently roll them up, leaving the two ends open. Push the enchilada to the edge of the dish.
- Repeat with the remaining tortillas, pushing each one next to the last, forming a neat little row of enchiladas. When you’ve made them all, pour the rest of the mole sauce over the top of the enchiladas. Sprinkle the pepitas over the top.
- Bake the enchiladas for thirty to forty minutes. They should be heated through, and should brown a little bit on the top and edges. Let them sit for about five minutes after taking them out of the oven.
- Serve the enchiladas right away with rice, beans, or salad. You can garnish them with sliced mango or avocado to make them extra pretty. A little sour cream, greek yogurt on the side would be nice for the vegetarian crowd too.
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