Encacahuatado translates to “full of peanuts”, and it refers to one of the many traditional Mexican sauces. It is a type of mole, containing peanuts and often sesame seeds. Most of these sauces have tomatoes, dried chiles, onions and garlic and the sauce is more like an orange to brick color. These moles are meant to be served over meats.
Encacahuatada, in the feminine gender, refers to a type of Enchilada, which is supposed to be completely enveloped in sauce. And since the sauce for these enchiladas is made with peanuts, then the name for them becomes Encacahuatadas.
This “recipe” was given to me by my dear friend Javier, who got it from a lady in Oaxaca during one of his travels. Mind you, this was not an exact written recipe, but more like a story passed on from one person to another. As Javier told me about it, I was immediately making mental notes and decided to change some things to suit my liking. The result is this sauce.
The sauce for these unusual Encacahuatadas is made with peanuts and poblano chiles, and some bread that gives it body. It is also different because it has crema and milk, as well as some chicken broth.
The resulting sauce is creamy and delicious, with only a slight kick of spice. To use this sauce in enchiladas, we use corn tortillas and fill them with shredded chicken, but the sauce is elegant enough to serve over roasted chicken breasts or even salmon, as well as an easy topping for pasta.
Overall, a very easy and delicious sauce that can have many uses, depending on your weekly menu or entertaining plans. Give it a try. If you don’t have time to make Encacahuatadas, then make the sauce and serve it over chicken or fish. Your family will thank you.
Enchiladas with Poblano Peanut Sauce
1 large onion, roasted
3 roasted poblano chiles, peeled, seeded and de-veined
1 serrano or jalapeño chile, chopped
2 Tbsp lard or vegetable oil
½ cup raw peanuts
1 - 3” piece baguette, chopped (1 cup)
1/2 cup crema
1/2 cup milk
1-2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
3-4 cups shredded chicken
18 corn tortillas
3 Tbsp + ¼ cup vegetable oil
Additional cream for drizzling
1/3 cup chopped roasted peanuts for garnish
In large frying pan, heat 2 Tbsp vegetable oil. Add roasted poblano, Serrano, onion, peanuts and bread chunks. Sauté until everything is soft and mixture is fragrant, about 5 minutes. Place mixture in blender container along with the milk, crema and ½ cup of the chicken broth. Process until completely smooth.
In medium saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp oil. Pour mixture into saucepan and cook over low heat for 10 minutes, adding more chicken broth to achieve a thick sauce that coats the back of a spoon. Add salt and cook another 5 minutes, taking care not to let it boil. Keep sauce warm.
In another medium frying pan, heat ¼ cup vegetable oil. Soft-fry tortillas about 20 seconds per side, only to soften them. Drain on paper towels and keep warm while you do all the tortillas. Fill each tortilla with some shredded chicken and roll up tightly, arranging on tray seam side down. Keep warm as you finish filling all tortillas.
To serve, spoon a pool of sauce on each serving plate. Top with 3 or 4 filled tortillas and cover completely with sauce. Drizzle with crema and garnish with peanuts. Serve hot.
This recipe was first published at www.thelatinkitchen.com