Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Holy mole (poblano)

At the end of last summer, Jim was flipping channels and came across an episode of "Tyler's Ultimate" about mole poblano. I think I was in the kitchen, or maybe some other part of the house playing with the kids.

"Honey, get in here!"

Jim knows mole is my favorite Mexican dish, and was right in thinking I wouldn't want to miss learning how to make it. Unfortunately, we tuned in about ten minutes from the end of the show, and even though the recipe was online, I wanted to see all the how-to.

So I set up the DVR to record every episode of "Tyler's Ultimate", and then had to spend some time each week culling through all the unwanted shows, until late in the fall I finally got my mole poblano episode.

I've been holding off making it for a while because I wanted to use turkey instead of chicken, which is more authentic. We had turkey for New Year's dinner, and within a week I'd reached my limit with turkey sandwiches and turkey soup. I'd already boiled the carcass for broth, and the rest of the meat languished undisturbed its Ziploc container in the fridge for over a week. Last night I knew it was time to retire the turkey to the freezer before it went bad, or finally give the mole poblano recipe a test drive.

Making mole is a complex process because of the long list of ingredients and the multiple steps that include roasting, grinding, pureeing, and so forth. Everything was going fine until I put the roasted almonds, oregano, cinnamon, sesame seeds and pepper into Jim's spice grinder.

The grinder started to spew out the coarse powdered ingredients, and then suddenly it seized up and started to smell strongly of hot almonds. Not a good sign. I wound up using my molcajete to grind all the spices, which was actually very enjoyable, and contributed to my illusion of an "authentic" experience.

When finished, the mole was flavorful, spicier than I expected (I'm used to the gringo-friendly restaurant version), and absolutely delish. I served it with brown rice and corn tortillas... at least that's how I ate it. Jim prefers flour tortillas. And the kids, well, they had pigs in blankets.

The leftovers tasted even better when I had some for lunch today. This time I added a bit of sliced avocado and lime juice. Mmm.

Now I've just gotta figure out how to de-gunk Jim's spice grinder.

1 comment:

Julie C said...

Awesome! Over Christmas I got to help make tamales with my sister-in-law (who is from Mexico and has been cooking since the age of 10). She had a mole sauce and a green spicy sauce that we used, along with all the leftover meat in the house. They were amazing! Thanks for reminding me of that.