When I was growing up in California, we were lucky to taste a lot of Mexican food including mole. Interestingly, when I moved to the UK this was not something I could readily find. However, in recent years it has become more popular along with Mexican food in general. Actually, you can buy it ready-made in jars and there is even a British brand I like called Mama Reyna. Of course, the home-cooked version is nicer and has so much flavour. I have made this recipe for mole through trying and combining different recipes. You can adjust ingredients to your taste and it will still taste good.
Before you try this recipe for mole, here are a few tips. First, mole is pronounced MOH-lay. Second, mole does not always have chocolate in it but this one does. I like the rich flavour it adds. Third, this recipe for mole takes a long time to make and requires a lot of ingredients so allow yourself some time. If you are prepared to search for ingredients and then take time for preparation then then end product is worth it! Finally, you may want to make a large batch of the chili paste and freeze some for later. This time, I used the mole for chicken enchiladas and it was really tasty! It tastes great as an accompaniment to meat and poultry.
2 ancho, chilies, deseeded
2 pasilla chilies, deseeded
2 mulato chilies, deseeded
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
30g sesame seeds, toasted
60g blanched almonds, toasted
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped (you can use canned plum tomatoes)
2 black peppercorns
1/2 tsp aniseed, ground
1/2 tsp cumin, ground
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp cornmeal
45g plain chocolate (70% cocoa)
salt and freshly ground pepper
15-20 corn tortillas
2-3 chicken breasts, boiled and shredded
1 bunch coriander, chopped
Mexican cheese, crumbled
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
First, soak the chilies in hot water for about an hour. In the meantime, you can boil the chicken and prepare the enchilada ingredients. When the chicken is cooked, reserve the broth and remove the chicken breasts to cool. Shred the chicken into a bowl, cover and set it aside.
Next, put the chilies with their soaking liquid in a food processor or blender with the chopped onions, garlic, tomatoes, sesame seeds, almonds, raisins and spices. Puree the mixture until it becomes a smooth paste.
Then heat the oil in a large saucepan or casserole pan. When the oil is hot add the chili paste and cook it while stirring for 5 minutes. Stir in the cornmeal and about 2 cups of the chicken stock and leave it to simmer for 20 minutes.
Break the chocolate up into pieces and stir it into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to the sauce and leave it to simmer for 15-20 minutes, so that the sauce has thickened (add more stock/water if necessary).
Pre-heat the oven to 170C.
When the sauce is ready, mix a few Tablespoons of it with the shredded chicken. Then start to make the enchiladas. Heat the tortillas for about 1 minute in the microwave then quickly fill with chicken, roll up and place seam side down in a baking dish. Repeat until the tortillas and chicken are used up. Then spread more of the sauce on top. Crumble cheese on top and sprinkle with coriander and onions. Put the dish of enchiladas in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes. It doesn’t need too long, and you don’t want the enchiladas to dry out. Serve hot.
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