Saturday, June 2, 2007


Yet another backlog... And this doesn't even begin to cover my recent adventures in sourdough baking. But it's a start.

(June Supper Club: fruit and chocolate)

This was pretty close to what I had in my mind's palate, so I'm pretty happy with it. I combined approaches in a couple of different recipes I found online, one the Ancho and Chipotle Mole from Food and Wine, the other a "Oaxacan Black Mole" from This wasn't overwhelmingly spicy, since I took out all of the chile seeds. If you like it hotter, you could reserve some of the seeds and toast/grind them in the manner of the dried spices, and adjust the heat to taste that way.

3 large dried Ancho chiles
1 large and 3-4 small dried Chipotle chiles

2 large fresh Pasilla (or Poblano) peppers... the large, shiny, dark green ones
2 red bell peppers

1 cinnamon stick (if you can get Mexican cinnamon, that's ideal... I just used what I had)
4-5 whole cloves
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
2 whole peppercorns

2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion
1 small can tomato paste
8-10 smallish tomatillos
1 small ripe banana or plantain
10 garlic cloves
2 discs Ibarra Mexican chocolate
1 heaping tbsp cocoa

salt to taste

1. Preheat a gas broiler and broiler pan (or a gas grill).

2. Soak the dried chiles in about 2 cups of boiling water for about 30 mins. You may need to weight them down a bit so they don't just float to the top. (Save the soaking water in case you need to adjust the consistency of the mole.)

3. Remove the seeds and cores from the fresh peppers and cut into pieces that lay flat. Put them on the preheated broiler pan (or grill) skin side toward the flame. Broil or grill for 10 minutes, until the skin is charred. Remove the skin (this should be easy) and put them in a covered bowl to steam for a few minutes.

4. Toast the spices (cinnamon, cloves, cumin, sesame seeds and peppercorns) in a dry skillet until fragrant and golden brown. Be careful not to burn them... watch carefully and shake the pan. Grind in batches in a mortar or spice grinder.

5. Remove the tomatillo husks and puree the tomatillos, garlic and banana in a food processor. (You could also mince the garlic and add it to the onion once the onion starts to get translucent. Either way.)

6. Saute the onion and ground spices in the oil on medium-high heat until the onion is just beginning to brown. Add the tomato paste and saute another 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatillo puree and cook until slightly reduced, about 5-10 minutes, stirring periodically. Remove from heat and add Ibarra chocolate discs and stir until melted.

7. Remove the stems and seeds from the soaking dried peppers, puree with the fresh peppers, and add to the pot.

8. Blend the mole in a blender (or with a hand blender) until smooth. (The food processor doesn't quite get it smooth enough.)

9. Add salt to taste (about a tsp). If it's not chocolatey enough, you can add some of the cocoa.

Slather on the sauce vector of your choice. This stuff should keep in the fridge for a few weeks at least.

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