Today we're making mole. Specifically mole poblano. I don't have a specific recipe for this per se, usually I just use up whatever we've got in the pantry when I get the hankering. Substitutions included.
Start with the nuts. Today I'm using pepitas, a few cashews and some pine nuts. Get them in a dry pan over medium heat and roast till fragrant, about 4-5 minutes. I have used all manner of nuts for mole. All types work pretty much equally well.
Remove the nuts from the heat and set aside. Now it's time to add the chiles. I'm using 2 big dried anchos and 3 roasted/dried jamaican golds from our garden last year. Roast them in the dry pan over medium heat until they start to release their oils and get fragrant, about 5-6 minutes.
Remove the chiles to the same bowl as the nuts. Add 2 tsp of olive oil, half an onion and one small carrot (chopped) to the pan and cook over medium heat until just starting to brown, about 8-10 minutes.
While the onion and carrot are cooking flame roast 3-4 poblano peppers on the stove. Just turn on the burner, set it to medium-low and place the fresh pepper directly on the grate of the stove. Use tongs to move the pepper around so it gets charred on all sides.
When each pepper is nicely charred wrap it in paper towels or a paper bag and let them steam. This will make removing the skin easier later on. Now that the onions and carrots are beginning to brown it's time to add the rest of our stuff. First we'll start with a bit of tomato and some dried cherries we picked in Door county. I'm using cherries here because that's what we have in the house. I normally use raisins. Have also used apricots and prunes with good results.
Let those ingredients get warm and start releasing their essence, then add the nuts and dried peppers to the pot. Give it all a good stir.
At this point I added about a pint and a half of stock and close to a pints worth of tomatillo salsa we had canned. Skinned and seeded the poblanos and added them in too. Using homemade chicken stock here, have used pork and beef stock before too, both were good. Stir some more and make sure everything is happy.
Cover the pot and reduce heat to medium low. You will cook this for an hour or more - so long as it's not boiling over you're fine to let it simmer all afternoon (what I usually do). It smells up the house something wonderful it does. After an hour or three it will look like this:
Time to hit it with the boat motor. Blend the jack shit out of it! The nuts/seeds - especially pepitas - will still be fibrous enough to be gritty in the final product so don't spare the blender and spoil the mole.
At this point you will want to add up to 2 ounces of your favorite chocolate. I got in trouble using the last of my wife's valentine's day truffles on this batch, but she told me later on it was my best yet so I guess it worked out. You'll likely need salt and maybe a touch of lime juice to balance the flavors before service. Here's the final product:
This mole is great on chicken but is also nice on/in all manner of dishes. Drop a spoon or two into your soups or stews, mix some with a bit of mayo for a sammich, I love it mixed into eggs for omelettes, etc etc.
Really interested in your guys' take on mole too - talkin to you Scovilicious! Thanks for looking.