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A few months ago, my friend Crissie and I visited our good friend Cindy and her husband Aaron in Seattle.  Well, technically they just moved into a brand new house in Kent which is outside of Seattle.  Their house is super charming and we had a fantastic time!  Cindy is pregnant and about the cutest thing you have ever seen. Crissie is a talented photog and arranged a little photo shoot…


Aaron was a wonderful host and cooked for us the whole weekend.  He made us some very delicious steak tacos with chimichurri sauce and jalapeno pickled onions for dinner one night.  I wish I would have taken a photo of those.  Before dinner the group decided to have a few glasses of red wine (minus Cindy).   I, being the huge klutz that I am, dropped my glass of wine in their brand new living room and broke Cindy’s brand new wine glass.  Yes, I felt awesome.  They didn’t seem to mind too much, but I think they were just being nice. 

On our last day, we went down to Alki Beach and had lunch at Cactus.  Cactus is a cute little Mexican/Southwest restaurant that overlooks the beach.  The food was spicy but our waiter was H-O-T.  Crissie and I could barely look him in the eye. Serious movie star caliber good looks.   I asked if I could take a picture (the pic does not do him justice).  Aaron was disgusted and mortified.


Anyways, I ordered some amazing Butternut Squash Enchiladas at Cactus and have been dreaming about them (and the waiter) ever since.  I decided to try and make them since it is the perfect time of year for gourds. Let me give you a little warning.: This recipe was not quick in any sense of the word, but truly is worth it.  The Manchamanteles Mole took the longest and was unlike anything I have ever made.  If you want to take a few shortcuts, I would make a tomatillo sauce or buy some Mole, but the real stuff was yummers!

Roasted Butternut Squash Enchiladas with Goat Cheese and Mole


Manchamanteles Mole

I found the recipe for the mole here.  As I mentioned, quite the time consuming process, but it made a ton of sauce that I can keep for another recipe.  The flavor is very nutty and spicy.

6 Dried Guajillo Chiles
1 Dried Ancho chile
4 c Boiling water
1.5 Cans of 14.5oz  chopped tomatoes
Olive Oil
1/2 c Toasted Sesame Seeds
1 White onion; roughly chopped
1/4 c Whole raw almonds
1/4 c Raw pecans
1/4 c Raisins
4 Garlic cloves; halved
2 Whole cloves(or 2 pinches ground cloves)
2 Black peppercorns
1 Whole Allspice
1 Cinnamon stick -; (2″ long) (or 1 tbspn ground cinnamon)
2 Fresh oregano sprigs (or 1/2 tspn dried oregano)
 1 c Chicken stock ( I used store bought, but you could make your own)
1 16oz Can of pineapple sliced (drained)
1 1/2 Tablespoon Sugar

Remove stems, seeds and veins from both kinds of chiles ( I wore gloves).  Toast chiles in skillet or on griddle over low heat until slightly fragrant and beginning to blister. Be careful not to burn chiles. Put chiles in bowl and pour boiling water over them. Let soak 20 to 30 minutes (the longer they soak, the less hot they become).

While waiting, Cook tomatoes in dry skillet over medium heat until dry, about 20 minutes.  Blend well in blender. Transfer to bowl. Grind the toasted sesame seeds in a spice grinder or with mortar and pestle. Once chiles are done soaking transfer chiles from bowl to blender with slotted spoon and puree, adding some of soaking water if needed to blend well. Pass pureed chiles through sieve or food mill and set aside.

Return skillet to medium heat, add 2 tablespoons oil and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and transparent, about 10 minutes. Add almonds, pecans, raisins, garlic, cloves, peppercorns, allspice, cinnamon and oregano and saute, stirring constantly, until brown and fragrant, about 10 minutes.
Transfer to blender and add 1 cup chicken stock and pineapple. Blend until smooth.

Put 2 tablespoons oil in large pot and heat over medium heat until slight haze forms over oil. Add chile puree and fry, stirring constantly, until dry, about 20 minutes. Mixture will splatter, so carefully partially cover pot with towel. Add tomatoes, sesame seeds and onion mixture and cook, stirring constantly, 10 minutes. Add chicken stock to make fairly loose mixture, 4 to 6 cups, and continue cooking, adding more stock as necessary.   Set aside or if you make it the night before you can put it in the fridge.  It should keep for about a week.

Mole recipe is heavily adapted from the Los Angeles Times – 04-28-1999 Recipe from Billy Cross, founder of the Napa Valleys Great Chefs of France Cooking School

Now that part is finally done, we can start on the actual enchiladas!

 Butternut Squash

 2 Large butternut squash peeled and chopped into 1”cubes (remove any seeds)
½ Cup olive oil
1 Tablespoon chipotle chili powder
2 Teaspoons cumin Powder
2 Teaspoons garlic Powder
2 Sprigs thyme chopped
2 Sprigs oregano chopped
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix olive oil, chili powder, cumin, garlic, thyme, oregano, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl.  Put squash in a large roasting pan and cover with olive oil mixture.  Bake for 40-50 minutes until soft and brownish. Once you remove them from the oven smash them up a bit with a fork.  Not too much as there still should be chunks.


Meanwhile, you can start carmelizing some onions. 

1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1-2 Red Onions sliced ¼ inch thick.

Add butter and olive oil to a medium skillet pan on medium heat until butter is melted.  Add the onions and stir to coat with oil/butter mixture. Spread the onions out evenly over the pan and let cook, stirring occasionally.


After about 15 minutes add a dash of salt.  Keep stirring every few minutes for about 30 minutes total.  You can lower the heat if they start to burn.  You want them just slightly brown.

 While the onions are carmelizing, you try and sauté some spinach if you are good at multi-tasking.  However, if you have problems with this, then just wait until the onions are done.

 Sauteed Spinach

½ Bag of fresh spinach (2 or 3 cups)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Cloves of garlic minced (Do not use the jarred stuff.  It is disgusting.  Just sayin)

Add olive oil to a medium skillet pan on medium heat until oil shimmers.  Add garlic and sauté for a minute or so until fragrant.  Add the spinach and sauté until wilted. 

 Finally time for assembly!!!

8 Burrito Size White Corn Tortillas  ( lightly fry each one in small amount of oil for aboutt 30 seconds each)
Manchamanteles Mole
Roasted Butternut Squash
Sautéed Spinach
Carmelized onions
2 small rolls of Goat Cheese
2 cups of Shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese
Pico de Gallo and Sour Cream for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 13 glass baking dish with cooking spray.  Cover the bottom of the dish with about a cup of the mole sauce.  Next setup an assembly line with all of the ingredients.  Dip 1 tortilla in the mole and cover completely.  Add about a ½ cup to 1 cup (depending how big you want the burrites) of the squash.  Add a spoonful of the onions and spinach each to the tortilla.  Spread out evenly.  Add a few Tablespoons of goat cheese.  Roll it up with the edges tucked in.  Continue this process for all 8 burritos adding each one to the pan when completed.  Cover with Jack cheese and bake for 30 minutes until cheese is bubbly and browned in spots. 

Serve garnished with Pico de Gallo and sour cream. 


Yay! Eat up!  My kitchen is now destroyed.




I’m Lindzee. I love to cook and entertain. I’m currently in my very late twenties living in Boise, Id. I enjoy experimenting with new ingredients and trying to copy restaurant dishes. The kind souls that eat my experimental dishes sometimes ask for recipes and this is an easy way to pass them along. Hope you enjoy!

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