I made mole once awhile back, and once you make it, it is always in the back of your head. The taste of homemade mole is really something special. The problem is it is tough to make. Rich was recently introduced to mole and he really wanted to try his hand at making it, so we cooked some up this past weekend. Last time I did mole, it was a Rick Bayless recipe for rich red mole with chicken, but this time we did a mole poblano and used if for turkey enchiladas. We were having a fun time making jokes about the history of mole, and somehow decided that if we made something wrong, the ghost of Ponce De Leon would come after us! This is completely historically INaccurate since Ponce the explorer didn't even go to Mexico. He was more of a Florida guy, but it was fun to joke about. I hope he doesn't show up again today...
This is some Mexican oregano I found at a spice shop in Cambridge.
The spice blend. The recipe is linked below.
We made chili a few nights earlier, so we bought all the dried chiles at the same time. These got cooked, then soaked, then blended.
Whoa! Watch out for the ghost of Ponce! I swear I am following this recipe correctly!
Onions and garlic were dry fried, and so was the spice blend. Then they were all blended.
A plantain was fried, then removed. Tomatoes and tomatillos then get fried and the plantains go back in with some raisins. then... you guessed it. BLENDED.
Some nuts and seeds fried. Then we just ate them like that. Just kidding! Blended!
Here are all the things we prepped, all in separate bowls. We then began to slowly cook all of these together(added one by one). If you have good helpers and can keep yourself properly organized, you can do these one by one and immediately start cooking them as they are ready. I had Rich blend everything first so I could show you guys everything laid out nicely in the pictures. Rich thought this pic looked like pintsize from my favorite web comic. I thought it was more like hopscotch since you have to use 2 bowls sometimes.
The chiles go in the pot and you slowly cook them until they are thick enough to leave a line behind your stirrer. See what I'm talking about in the above picture?
Then you slowly add everything else one by one, stirring for about 10 minutes in between each addition.
The last thing to add is the chocolate and sugar.
That sugar was so rock solid, I just added it in like a buoy(motherf@@#3r) and let it float around until the whole thing was sweet enough. When it was like half melted I took it out. This went in the fridge overnight, which is a very important step in the process. This allows the flavors to meld together.
The next day, we braised 4 turkey thighs with some chicken stock and a few spoonfulls of the mole.
I made some homemade tortillas. If not having a tortilla press is your only reason for not making them yourself, you have no legs to stand on sir. I was pressing them with a crappy flimsy plastic cutting board.
Rich was grossed out by getting the mole on his hands while making the enchiladas. Ponce De Leon was not amused.
Just some queso cheese on top.
Tasty and fully worth the 2 day 5 hour effort!
The mole recipe is here. Make the mole the day before and let the flavors meld in the fridge overnight. The next day, we used some turkey thighs that we braised in stock and a little of the mole for about an hour and a half. We then shredded the meat. Made some homemade tortillas(the recipe is on the bag of masa harina). Dipped the tortillas in the mole and stuffed with the turkey. Added more mole on top, followed by queso cheese and baked for 25 minutes. A guacamole recipe is here.