Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Oaxacan Black Mole

8oz dried pasilla chiles
hot water

Spice blend:
1-2 TBS seeds from the softened pasillas
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp three peppercorn blend
1/2 tsp anise seed
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp Mexican oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
3 TBS slivered almonds
1/4 c pumpkin seeds
1/4 c sesame seeds

3 TBS olive oil
1 medium white onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled & quartered
4-5 tomatillos, husked, rinsed & chopped

2 chipotle chiles in ancho sauce

2 c chicken stock + more as needed
3 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
1 TBS honey
1 TBS dry red wine
salt to taste

Place dried chiles in very large non-metal bowl, cover with hot water. You may need to place a plate on top of them to keep them submerged. Stir occasionally, and let soak for at least 2 hours to rehydrate until the peppers are soft & pliable. Remove the peppers, stem & seed them saving 2 TBS of the seeds, & place in another bowl; reserve the liquid.

Now, dry roast the spice blend. Place all blend ingredients in large, dry, heavy cast iron fry pan. Roast over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently to keep them from burning. Allow the blend to brown nicely, but do not burn. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Place the roasted blend in a spice mill or coffee grinder & grind to a fine powder.

Add olive oil to the fry pan & saute the onion, garlic and tomatillos until soft & fragrant. Remove from heat.

Set large stock pot on stove, measure in 1 c of the pasilla soaking water.

Working in batches with a blender (not a food processor), puree 1/3 of the pasillas & the chipotles with a portion of the onion, garlic & tomatillo mixture, adding a little of the chicken stock as needed to form a smooth, thick puree. Pour into stock pot and repeat, in batches, until all ingredients are pureed.

Add the remaining stock, 2-4 TBS of the ground spice blend, & the cocoa powder to the puree in the stock pot, stirring well with a wooden spoon. Heat the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add the honey & red wine, and add salt to taste. Simmer the mole until it is thick and flavorful, adding stock if the mole thickens too much (it should be pourable).

Tia's Tortillas

1/3 c coarse ground cornmeal
2 c water

4 c flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 TBS butter (or margarine) + additional

Combine corn meal & water in medium heavy saucepan, place over medium heat. Bring to rapid boil, stirring constantly. Set aside to cool to luke-warm temperature (you will be mixing this with your hands, you do not want it too hot to touch).

Combine flour, salt and baking powder in large mixing bowl, stirring gently with wooden spoon to combine. Cut in butter, mixing gently with hands until worked throughout. Spoon cornmeal evenly into flour mixture, mix quickly but gently with hands until a rough dough forms. Gather into 1 large lump and rub outside thoroughly with butter. Pinch off small amount (golfball size clumps) and roll into balls; dip lightly in flour & roll to cover. Let stand for 15 minutes, lightly covered with cloth towel.

Preheat heavy griddle over medium heat (or electric to 350). Working with one ball at a time, flatten dough ball into disc shape. Plunk onto lightly floured surface; using rolling pin, roll lightly from middle, turning dough after each roll, until desired thickness. Cook on griddle, flipping when tortilla begins to "bubble". Cook until done. Stack & wrap in cloth until cool.