Friday, November 14, 2008

Holy Mole Experiment

Perhaps you may think I'm a bit crazy trying to make mole from scratch, and perhaps you are right. If you decide you want to try to make homemade mole you will need: patience, a well ventilated kitchen, your mise en place ready, and a huge stock pot.

Also, mole is one of those sauces that can be adjusted to your taste. If you don't want to add cilantro, you don't have to; you can use toasted cashews if you want; want to add Mexican oregano? Go ahead. It's just one of those recipes that can be customized to your liking, and the one below is basically what I thought up. Make sure you finely grind your spices before you start so that they are ready to go (I used my coffee grinder for this). And soak your dried chiles 10 to 15 minutes before you start so that they soften a little. The measurements below are approximate because mole is definitely an "eye ball it" type of recipe.

Lastly, if you've never had mole before, I suggest you go to a good Mexican restaurant and try it out first. It's definitely one of those dishes you either hate or you love. There are no in-betweens. The sauce is sweet, spicy, smokey, nutty, chocolatey and somewhat herbally. Serve mole over tortillas filled with refried beans, called enmoladas, or over cooked chicken or turkey or seafood. The recipe below made about 8 cups of mole. I poured most of it into 8oz containers and froze it since I'll be distributing some to my family. Have fun!


  • 1 cup peanuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tortillas, torn apart
  • 5 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 large white onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and deveined and roughly chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup chicken base or bouillon
  • Mole Spices consisting of:
    1. 1 tablesspoon cinnamon
    2. 1 tablespoon corriander
    3. 1 tablespoon Thyme
    4. 1 tablespoon Majoram
    5. 4 cloves
    6. 1/2 Tsp. Allspice
    7. 2 Star anise
    8. 10 peppercorns
    9. 1/2 tablespoon cumin
    10. 1/2 tablespoon Mexican Oregano
  • 10 dried Pasillas, stemmed and seeded and softened in 6 cups hot water
  • 4 dried Guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded and softened in 2 cup hot water
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 Bunch Cilantro
  • 1 Bunch Epazote (optional)
  • 1 Bunch parsley
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 discs of Mexican Chocolate, chopped (La Abuelita brand, if possible)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Hickory smoke liquid
  • Salt to taste

In a large stock pot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium-high. Add the torn tortillas and lightly fry up to soften. Add the garlic, onion, tomatoes and jalapenos, mole spices and 1 teaspoon salt. Saute for 8 to 10 minutes, or until everything is softened. In the meantime, chop up the softened pasilla and guajillo chiles.

Add the cinnamon stick, bay leaves, and chicken base. Next add the chopped up passillas and guajillo chiles, and also add all the water the chiles were soaking in. Next add the chopped peanuts and walnuts, raisins, cilantro, epazote, parsley, brown sugar, both types of chocolate, hickory smoke and vinegar. Bring to a boil then simmer for 1 hour. Remove cinnamon stick and bay leaves.

With a heavy-duty hand blender, blend all ingredients in the pot, just until everything is broken down into smaller pieces. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, if needed. Simmer another 20 minutes. Turn off heat and let cool for half an hour.

Now, blend the mole in batches in your regular blender. Start on low and slowly move it to high this way you won't get too many spills. Be careful because mole is still warm. Blend until you can get a smooth, thick consistancy. Let cool to room temperature then store in containers and freeze.

To make Enmoladas:

  • 2 tortillas
  • Refried beans
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup mole
  • Queso fresco

Heat up homemade or your favorite refried beans. Set aside.

In a skillet, heat up 2 teaspoons olive oil on medium-high. Add 1 tortilla at a time and fry for 40 seconds on each side, or until they turn slightly golden and are pliable.

Place tortillas on serving plate and fill each one with refried beans and fold tortilla, like a taco.

In the same skillet (you should still have some oil left) add the mole and fry it up until it begins to bubble. Pour the mole over the refried bean tacos and then sprinkle queso fresco over it and enjoy.

1 comment:

aandara said...

I will try this recipe its looks so good