Enchiladas de Mole

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Enchiladas de Mole by Valeria Perez
Story and photos by Ruben Dominguez

There are many authentic Mexican dishes, but for first-year graduate student Valerie Perez, there is one that means much more to her than a good meal.

“It reminds me of family,” Perez says, “I remember eating it often as a kid when I would visit my mother’s family who reside in San Luis, Potosi, Rio Verde.”

This dish, known to many as Enchiladas de Mole, is a popular dish in the Mexican culture. It is often served at weddings and Quinceaneras. The special sauce which originated from Puebla, Mexico, is a traditional ingredient of that particular area. This Oaxacan cuisine can be found used on many other Mexican dishes such as tamales, quesadillas, and chapulines.

“Mole is one of my favorite Mexican entrees to cook and eat because the sauce is different compared to other famous Mexican dishes.” Perez says.

The sauce that Perez enjoys preparing contains chocolate to give it a rich, sweet taste for its consumers. This is interesting aspect to the Mexican food enthusiast who prepares this dish quite often for dinner parties for friends in her hometown of Dallas, Texas.

“The mole sauce has a little bit of chocolate in it but you can’t really taste the chocolate when you try it,” Perez says.

In cooking this dish, Perez feels that she can connect back to her cultural heritage, something she appreciates about St. Mary’s University as well. She was inspired to make this dish after taking a Mexican-American literature course that has sparked her interest in knowing more about her roots. While the task to make them perfect is a challenge, learning to create a dish worth much more than just a great taste is an adequate reward worth the hardship.

If there was any advice on making the dish, the graduate student says to follow the instructions carefully, but not to be afraid to switch things up and put your own twist on things. This is the key to making the dish meaningful.

“Every time I make this dish, I want to make my critics remember it,” Perez says, “and to make all those that made it before me proud.”


  • 2 1/2 cups of cooked chicken, already shredded
  • 3 cups of warm mole sauce
  • 12 tortillas
  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1/2 medium size white onion, thinly sliced
  • Lettuce or any salad spring mix of your liking
  • Diced tomatoes, cucumber, freshly cut pineapples
  • Any type of salad dressing
  • Optional: basil, white shredded cheese, avocado
  • Two Frying pans


First, You will need two frying pans. Place the mole sauce in one of the frying pans and set over medium low heat. Have a plate covered with paper towels ready. Meanwhile, add the vegetable oil in the other frying pan and turn the heat to high. Once the oil is hot, turn down the heat to medium and start frying the tortillas in a fast pace, turning once. The tortilla should turn soft but without any excess oil. Place the tortillas over the paper towel-covered plate to absorb the oil. Keep them warm. After frying all the tortillas, dip them one by one with the help of kitchen tongs (or your hand and a large spatula) into the warm mole sauce, making sure it is completely submerged. This is also a step that’s done quickly, to avoid breaking the tortillas. Place the tortilla onto a plate and add the chicken filling right at the center. Fold the tortilla in the tube form and, with the help of your spatula, place the enchilada on your serving plates. If needed, spoon some more mole sauce over the enchiladas. (I use one plate exclusively to assemble the enchiladas before placing them on the serving dish). Just before serving, garnish with the crumbed cheese and finely sliced onions (and/or) basil. Prepare the salad with lettuce, spring mix. Add the diced tomatoes, diced cucumber and pieces of pineapple onto the salad. Cut the avocado and add it onto the salad or on the side. Makes 3-4 servings.



Chocolate Marble Cake

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Chocolate Marble Cake by Michelle Flores
Story and Photos by Valerie Perez

The vice president of the pre-dental society, Michelle Flores, a student at St. Mary’s University, plans to bake a cake for the organizations next meeting, to show them what their future patients should not eat on a regular basis.

Flores is a junior double majoring in biochemistry and entrepreneurial studies.

“I have taken the DMAT already and in the future, I plan to attend dental school and then open up my own dentistry,” she says.

She enjoys the one-on-one interaction with professors and classmates. The campus is small, making her love the quick and easy walk to classes.

So far, she loves her classes and is excited for the future ahead.

Flores loves St. Mary’s because it is a unique and small community based.

“I love the St. Mary’s traditions like Baby Bake, Boo Bash, Continuing the Heritage, and other events that I participate in every year. I always look forward to spending Oyster Bake with my family and friends,” Flores says.

Flores is from Mission, Texas, and claims that only back home she gets the real taste of homemade Mexican food. Her favorite foods are enchiladas, tamales, and burritos; although, she likes to cook tacos and pasta.

Flores decided to bake a cake because she had not baked one in a very long time. It is also a simple and easy recipe to follow.

“Students should move off-campus if you have the opportunity because you can actually cook some healthy meals for yourself and test out new recipes. If it’s your first time making a dish, don’t make too big of a portion in case it doesn’t turn out the way you want it,” Flores advises.


  • 1 box of yellow cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c of Vegetable oil
  • 1/4 c of milk
  • 5 Strawberries
  • Pearl white sprinkles
  • 1 can of milk chocolate frosting
  • 1 toothpick
  • Pan spray
  • Donut hole cake pan
  • 2 oven mitts
  • 1 large plate

Begin by washing your hands for 30 seconds with warm water. After drying your hands, wash the strawberries and lay them on a cutting board. Then preheat the oven for 350 degrees. Next, open the cake mix and pour all of it onto a bowl, add three eggs, ¼ cup of milk, a cup of vegetable oil and mix it thoroughly. Use the pan spray to spray the donut hole cake pan and then pour the batter inside the pan.6. After that, place the pan inside the oven and let it bake for 35 minutes. While waiting, cut the ends off of the strawberries and then cut them into halves. Once the 35 minutes are up, put on the oven mitts and take the pan out of the oven. Flip the cake pan over carefully while the cake lands on your large plate. Let the cake cool off for 15 minutes. After, open the can of chocolate frosting and begin to frost the cake with a butter knife. Next place the half-cut strawberries on the cake to create a circular design. And then, grab two pearl sprinkles and place them in a line, between each strawberry.  Finally, enjoy your dessert! Makes 20 Servings