Living in LA, it’s a bit of an understatement to say that I’m a pretty lucky lady to be surrounded by some of the best mexican food in the country. There is one dish, however, that has won my Latin heart above the rest. That rich, indulgent, salivating sauce, which let’s be frank, I have dreams about…… MOLE.
While traveling through Mexico last year filming Globe Trekker, my eyes would light up every time I’d see the spicy sweet Oaxacan concoction on the menu. With every mouthful I’d have a stark similarity to Meg Ryan’s reaction in ‘When Harry Met Sally”. Mole, (pronounced Molaay) is one of my favorite Global Dishes. The complexity and flavors hit all the right buttons in my body. And it’s always a crowd pleaser at my International Dinners at home.
I can’t lie to you, Mole is no easy fare to cook from scratch. And to be honest, I never attempt to. I let the experts do the work when it comes to this one, and I finish it off at home to serve over roasted chicken or veggies, or maybe Pork belly if I’m feeling naughty.
By far the best place to try Mole, if you live in LA is Guelaguetza. Luckily, you can buy the Mole Paste there, and make the rest at home.
The Mole Paste is extremely labor intensive to make, and can take several days to do. It is also very rich and indulgent, which is why it is only made on very special occasions in Oaxaca; weddings, baptisms and the like. But, fortunately, I’m not a very patient girl, and I’m not waiting for my girlfriends to get married before I make my Mole, so I like to cheat and buy the paste whenever I go to Guelaguetza. Why wait for such pleasures in life?!
Just so you get a little idea the Mole Paste contains over 26 ingredients, including, chilli peppers, tomatillos, tomatoes, garlic, onion, almonds, sesame seeds, raisins, oregano, marjoram, thyme, cinnamon sticks, squash seeds, cloves, cumin, anise, nutmeg, bread, onions, plantains, dark chocolate. There are 7 different types of Mole. I prefer the traditional Mole Negro,
You can also look in a Mexican speciality store, if your nearest Oaxacan Restaurant does not sell it. I have also seen that Wholefoods has a small selection too. Hurrah!
In Mexico they say, “If you make a good Mole, you’ll get a good husband”
Needless to say, I’m getting my apron on.
Just a note, I always like to make a little extra- it’s delicious on top of eggs in the morning. It’s delicious on top of anything really.
1/2 lb Mole Paste (Rojo or Negro- I like Rojo for Valentine’s)
1lb Tomatoes cut into fours
1/4 Cup of Water
1 Cup of Chicken Broth
Pinch of Salt
1/2 tablespoon of Oaxacan Chocolate- (or any good quality Dark Chocolate)
Place the tomatoes and water in a pot and bring to a boil for 20 minutes. Pour boiled tomatoes into a blender and blend for 10 seconds.
Strain the tomatoes back into the pit and add the Mole Paste.
Stir until the paste has fully dissolved
Bring the mole to medium heat and add 1 cup of chicken broth. Season with Salt and grated chocolate.
Stir for another 10 mins until the mole comes to a boil, then pour generously on top of your preferred protein or vegetables.