Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Mole'

OK, now for the Christmas Mole'.  Most people are familiar with Enchilada sauce, a red Chile sauce.  Enchilada sauce is standard fare while Mole' is for special occasions.  Enchilada sauce is basically a red Chile gravy made from Red Chiles, flour, fat, and water, while the Mole' has many ingredients.
First are the Chiles.  Here I have some homegrown, and some store bought Chiles.  There are Cayenne Chiles and Anaheim Chiles from my garden, and some New Mexico Chiles from the Market.  Also we have a variety of Nuts, Spices,Onion, Garlic, Raisins, Tomatoes, and Mexican Chocolate that are also in the Mole'.  Mole' is a very complex food, which gives it extraordinary taste, but also superior nutrition, more on that later.  First we'll need to rehydrate the Chiles.
I added a small rack on the bottom of this sauce pan, then added enough water to fill the space underneath the rack, maybe about a cup.  Bring the water up to a boil over medium heat, add the Chiles, cover, and steam the Chiles for 15 minutes.  This will rehydrate the chiles so we can work with them.
After the Chiles are steamed break them open and remove the seeds and white membranes, the spicy bits.  we want the Red Chile flavor here, and not the heat.  I usually leave the Cayenne Chiles intact for a little heat, but don't want to overpower the Mole' with excessive heat.
Now we'll prep all the other ingredients.  First are the nuts, which are Pine Nuts, Almonds, and Sesame Seeds.  Each of them will roast in the oven for their specific time, and then ground before going into the Mole'.  Pine Nuts roast for 10 minutes, the sliced Almonds roast for 5 minutes, and the Sesame Seeds roast for 3 minutes.  Then there are the Spices, which are Coriander, Anise, Star Anise, and Black Peppercorns.  I roasted them in the oven for 5 minutes, whole, and then ground them also.  Then Onion needs to be coarsely chopped.  And I sliced the Garlic thin.  All of this is going into the Vita-Mix machine to puree it into a sauce.  I've seen them do this on that "Iron Cook" show, and also in Vita-Mix manual there are recipes for sauces.  Mole' is the King of Sauce, so I think it works good here.
OK, first things into the Vita-Mix are a 14.5 ounce can of whole Tomatoes, a 8 ounce can of Tomato sauce, the Onions, the Garlic, and maybe about half a teaspoon of Sea Salt.  Turn the Vita-Mix machine on low, and let it continue to run while we are adding the ingredients.  We're making a sauce here, so everything needs to be super pureed.  For now we are going to keep it on low while we add the chunky things.  Next in is the Chiles.
I have rough chopped the Chiles, and they are in relatively large pieces, so it will take a while for them to break down.  Another chunky ingredient is the Mexican Chocolate, which are pretty hard blocks.  Definitely need to break them down before adding them to the Vita-Mix machine.  I use my Santoku to break them into smaller pieces, then into the Vita-Mix with them.  OK, right here is about the spice level of a typical Mole'.  If we were to add some chicken stock and pork fat this would be an everyday Mole'.  But this is a Christmas Mole', and it needs to be special, so we're adding the Holiday Spices also.
I'll include a full recipe listing at the end of the post.  All the spices are roasted together, and ground before going into the Mole'.  The spices are 8 Cloves, one third of a stick of cinnamon, one teaspoon of Black Peppercorns, two Star Anise Flowers, one teaspoon of Coriander Seeds, and one teaspoon of Anise Seeds.  These spices together give the Mole' a very unique taste.  Then we'll also add the Nuts, which are one ounce of Pine Nuts, one ounce of sliced Almonds, and one ounce of Sesame seeds, which are all roasted and ground before going into the Vita-Mix machine.  At this point the mixture is very thick and needs to be thinned.  Any liquid can be added, typically a broth, but in this case, for the Holidays were using Ale.  The alcohol will enhance alcohol soluble flavors in the Mole' already, like the Tomatoes and Chiles.  I added about a cup and a half of Ale to the Mole'.  Then the Mole' also needs some fat.  Typically this is Lard, Pork Fat, I chose Olive Oil, a healthier substitute.  We'll bring the Vita-Mix machine up to high speed and let the Mole' puree for several minutes.  Remember, we're going for a smooth sauce here.  Then pour the Mole' into a sauce pan, bring it up to a simmer, and simmer it for at least 30 minutes, an hour is better.
Christmas Mole' is full of powerful spices.  It might have medicinal properties it is so potent.  So, a little goes a long way.  It will repel people that don't like spicy things.  They will literally stay on the other side of the kitchen.  So, now I'll go get some of those Tamales and make some Nom Noms after all of this cooking.
Remember this is very complex food.  you don't need big portions.  Its also very spicy food, so you don't need big portions.  I do the finish cooking in a very hot oven, 500 degrees Fahrenheit.  Make sure you use an oven safe plate, not the cheap stuff, well unless you like eating paint.  Place the Tamales on the plate, cover with the Christmas Mole', add a little cheeze, and bake for 5 minutes.
Now that's Nomlishious...

Here is the full ingredient listing for Christmas Mole'

15 ounce can of Whole Tomatoes
8 ounce can of Tomato sauce
6 New Mexico Red Chiles (Big Jim, Ancho)
4 red Cayenne Chiles
2 ounces of Mexican Chocolate
1/2 medium white Onion
4 cloves garlic
1 ounce of Raisins
1 ounce of Sesame Seeds
1 ounce of sliced almonds
1 ounce of Pine Nuts
8 Cloves
3 Star Anise Flowers
1/3 of a stick of Cinnamon
1 teaspoon of Coriander Seeds
1 teaspoon Black Peppercorns
1 teaspoon of Anise Seeds
3 tablespoons of Olive Oil
12 ounces of Ale
Sea Salt to taste

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