söndag 7 april 2019

Mole Negro

Mole Negro

Mole Sauce is the national dish of Mexico. I have spent months to study this sauce and how it is made before trying myself. There is no one way to do it. And there are many kinds. There is not one recipe. All do it their own personal way. So from looking at recipes and watching films on youtube on how it is done from private people to masterchefs, at home and in restaurants, in the city, in the countryside, in the most simple way to the most complex way, from the modern to the traditional; I have put together the hardest way of making it, like it would be done in the village somewhere in Mexico from scratch and by the most authentic old tradition and style.

When studying this dish I thought the ingredients didn´t make sense at all. It seemed to me like I would have taken everything I could find in my cupboard when I do not have anything to eat and I would be mixing it. It is about 30 ingredients that do not go together in any recipe I have ever come upon.

So after a while I tried to find out where it comes from. I found this legend that tells its creation takes place at the Convent of Santa Clara in Puebla early in the colonial period. Upon hearing that the archbishop was going to visit, the convent nuns panicked because they were poor and had almost nothing to prepare. The nuns prayed and brought together the little bits of what they did have, including chili peppers, spices, day-old  bread , nuts, and a little chocolate. They killed an old turkey, cooked it and put the sauce on top; the archbishop loved it. When one of the nuns was asked the name of the dish, she replied, "I made a mole." Mole was the ancient word for mix; now this word mostly refers to the dish, and is rarely used to signify other kinds of mixes in Spanish.


Oil as needed
2 ½ yellow onions
8 garlic cloves
2 red onion
3 red tomatoes
10 tomatillos
2 red peppers
1 yellow pepper1 green pepper
30 g sesame seeds
100 g walnuts
100 g almonds
100 g groundnuts
100 g raisins
100g prunes 
1 plantain sliced into 1cm pieces
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp ground star anis2 bay leaves
1 (10cm) cinnamon stick, ground
1/2 tsp dry ginger
2 tsp dry thyme
1 tbs dry oregano
100 g stale croissant, cut in pieces
100 g biscuits (marie-biscuit)
30 mulatto chillies
16 ancho chillies
6 pasilla chillies
1 chipotle chillies
225 g Mexican chocolate, chopped
50 g palmsugar
1, 42 ltr chicken stock, plus 1, 9 ltr


Prepare ingredients to make the sauce

Since I did not have dried chilis I had to dry them myself. I did that in the oven a week before making the sauce. If you have dried chilis at hand you can skip this step.

Drying chilis in the oven

Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Fahrenheit (79 degrees Celsius). For a fan-forced oven, the temperature should be 40ºC. Place the chilis onto a cookie sheet. Only place them down in a single layer.  Cook the chilies for around six to eight hours. You can choose to turn them once during the cooking process if you like, but it is not required. Keep the oven door a little open by putting a wooded sleeve in between the opening hey start turning b. When browning, they are dried. Be aware that drying time depends very much on the size of the chilis, so it could shorter or longer time.

Roasting ingredients in oven

Roast tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic in a pan in the oven for about 20 minutes. Cut them in halves and place in the pan. Roast at 400°F (200 Celsius degrees) for about 20 minutes.

Roasting the ingredients in a frying pan or wokpan

Roast all chilis moving them frequently until they release their aromas and become darker in color. Remove from heat and set aside.

Roast sesame seeds until they darken slightly and begin to pop. Remove from heat and set aside.

Roast raisins and prunes until they begin to darken and swell. Remove from heat and set aside.

Roast the almonds, walnuts, groundnuts berries, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger, all at once, moving frequently. Remove from heat and set aside once they begin to release their aromas. 

Roast the sliced plantain and set aside

Roast the biscuit and set aside

Roast the bread and set aside

Quickly roast grinded coriander seeds, ground star anise, cinnamon stick grounded, bay leaves and set aside.

Soak roasted ingredients

Soak roasted chilis in hot water for 5 minutes, then discard water.

Soak raisins and prunes in hot water for 20 minutes and discard water.

Mix ingredients in a foodblender

Mix softened chilis with other toasted/roasted ingredients, except for bay leaves.

Working in batches, blend all the ingredients until very smooth. If necessary, add a small amount of chicken broth to get the blender going.

Cook the sauce

Prepare a large pot over medium-high heat. Add oil until it becomes very hot.

Add chili mixture to pot and fry, stirring frequently as it thickens for approximately 10 minutes. 

Add 2 cups chicken broth, and bay leaves, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Add mixture of all the blended ingredients to chili mixture, and lower to medium heat. 

Add the rest of the chicken broth to wished thickness of the sauce. Reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes stirring occasionally.

Sieve the sauce

Sieve the sauce through a sieve and pour the sieved sauce back in a pan on the oven. Add the chocolate and cook for some minutes. Taste and adjust the sauce to your liking.


This sauce is popular with enchiladas and shows up in chicken, turkey or pork tamales. But the age-old way of eating Molé Negro is with boiled turkey. Use turkey parts like wings or drumsticks and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes in a small amount of stock, then finish cooking in the sauce for another 30 to 40 minutes. 

Please note that when served in this manner with poultry or other meats, the sauce should be thinned to a light consistency. When it is used as a filling, it must be dense and thick.

Serve over a piece of chicken or turkey with a side of rice. Sprinkle roasted sesame seeds on top. You can also serve the sauce in a taco. 

lördag 6 april 2019

Posole Roja

Posole Roja

Posole (or Pozole) is a traditional soup in Mexico, often served Christmas eve, and in many parts of the country on Thursdays and Saturdays all year round. This Posole Rojo, or “red” posole, is made with pork shoulder or shanks, red chiles, and lots of hominy corn.

Typically just the simple soup with pork and hominy is served, and the add-ins, or garnishes are set at the table for all to pick and put in their soup as they wish. The soup itself should be rather thin, or brothy, because you are going to load it up quickly with shredded cabbage, thinly sliced radishes, chopped avocados, cilantro, onions, and wedges of lime. More hot sauce or chiles can be added for more heat. Posole is all about the garnishes.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 3 hours
Yield: Serves 12, plus plenty for leftovers.

4 ounces (113 g) guajillo, ancho, or a combination of both, chili pods
1 large (108 ounce, 6 lb 12 oz, 3 kg) can white hominy, drained and rinsed
3 lbs (1,3 kg) pork shoulder (preferably with bone), cut into 1 to 1 1/2 inch cubes (can also use pork shanks), make sure to use a cut well marbled with fat
8 cloves garlic, 4 cloves roughly chopped, and 4 whole cloves
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 Tbsp of dry oregano (Mexican oregano if available)

Garnishes(can prep while pozole is cooking):
Half a small cabbage, thinly sliced
One bunch cilantro, chopped
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 avocados, chopped
4 limes, quartered
A bunch of red radishes, sliced thin
A couple dozen tostada shells* or taco chips

*Tostadas are crispy fried corn tortillas. They are sold packaged and can often be found in the same section of your grocery store as fresh tortillas, or can be found at Mexican markets. You can make your own by frying stale corn tortillas (or tortillas that have dried out a bit in a warm oven), in hot vegetable oil until stiff.

1 Fill a large 10-12 quart stockpot with 5 quarts (4,7l) of water. Set on heat to bring to a boil while you proceed with the next steps.

2 Remove and discard the stems, seeds, and large veins from the chili pods. Heat a cast iron pan on medium high and lightly roast the chili pods for a couple minutes, until they begin to soften. Do not let them burn. While the chilies are heating, bring a medium pot with 3 cups of water to a boil. Once the chiles have softened, submerge them in the pot with the 3 cups of hot water, cover the pot and remove from heat. Let the chiles soak in the hot water for 15 to 20 minutes.

3 Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pan) in a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Pat the pork pieces dry with paper towels. Sprinkle them generously with salt. Working in batches, taking care not to crowd the pan or stir the meat much, brown the meat on all sides. Right at the end of browning the meat, add 4 cloves of roughly chopped garlic to the pan with the meat, let cook with the meat for about a minute.

4 Once the meat has browned, transfer it to the large stockpot of boiling water. Scrape up any browned bits at the bottom of the pan, and any garlic, and add those to the pot as well. Add the rinsed hominy. Add bay leaves, cumin, and oregano. When you put in the oregano; smoosh together with your hands, so the oregano breaks up more as it goes in. Add a tablespoon of salt. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and cook for 15 minutes.

5 Prepare the red sauce by puréeing in a blender the chilies, 2 1/2 cups or so of their soaking liquid, a teaspoon of salt, and 4 cloves of garlic. (To prevent the blender from creating too much pressure, it's probably best to start with the chiles and garlic and only a cup of the liquid in the blender, and then adding the rest of the liquid.) Strain the red sauce through a sieve, discarding the tough bits of the sauce.

6 Add the red chili sauce to the pot with the pork and hominy. Add another couple teaspoons of salt. Return to a simmer, lower the heat to just high enough to maintain a simmer, partially covered. Cook for 3 hours until the pork is completely tender. Skim away excess fat. Taste for seasoning and add more salt to taste (you will likely need more than you expect, perhaps a tablespoon or more.) The resulting soup should be rather brothy, as you will be adding a lot garnishes. Add more water if necessary.

7 When getting ready to serve the pozole, you can prep the garnishes (slice the cabbage, chop the cilantro, etc.) To serve, arrange the garnishes in bowls on the table and serve the pozole soup into bowls. Let your guests pick and choose which garnishes they would like on their pozole. Serve with tostada shells (or tortilla chips if you can't find tostada shells).

It’s somewhat of a feast, Posole. I guess you could make smaller batches, but since you have to cook it for several hours, it just makes sense to make a large amount, and then have lots of friends over with whom to enjoy it. Or do like me freeze in portions and I have lunch or dinner for long time forward. I just need to add the fresh greens, onions, red cabbage, avocado – whatever is at hand.

Posole Roja Recipt