Mole, mole, mole. There are different types of mole but the one thing that people most commonly identify with the dish is the addition of Mexican chocolate. I’ve only made mole once in culinary school and remember it to be tedious but delicious. Today I decided to take on the mole rojo. Yes, the directions seem endlessly long (imagine cooking this for 50 people like I did!) but the main idea is to toast all of the ingredients, blend it together, strain, and cook. This mole sauce was served on baked chicken with white rice and a side of black beans.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Mole sauce is a complex sauce that requires multiple steps. However, take the time and prepare this recipe and you will have one outstanding sauce.
Start by frying the chiles. The chiles do fry quickly so keep an eye on them! You know they are ready when they puff up and change color. When dehydrating the chiles, make sure to put a weight on top to keep them submerged in the water. After 30 minutes, the chilies have softened nicely.
When you are ready to blend the chilies, put the whole chile, seed and stems included. You’re going to strain the mixture so these parts will be discarded.
As for the tomatillos, you know when they are ready when they are soft, almost to the point of mush.
Now time for the actual cooking. The chiles need to reduce and thicken for about 30 minutes. Be careful when stirring the sauce since it does pop. You know when it has reached the right consistency when you can drag your spatula through it and the sauce leaves a clear trail.
Add the remaining ingredients and let it cook for another 2 hours. You will know when it is done when it looks like below. The color is slightly lighter and the mole is thick enough to coat a spoon. I added about 1 tbsp of salt and 1/3 cup of sugar and it was perfect!
You can serve this mole sauce with steak, pork, seafood, really anything! I chose to serve it with roasted chicken. To prepare the chicken, season them with a generous amount of salt, pepper, and minced garlic on both sides finished with a drizzle of olive oil.
Bake in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes or until the juices run clear. Top with the sauce and sesame seeds and there you have it. I got great feedback for this recipe; people loved it!
There are actually many variations of mole rojo. After discussing it with other women who cook this dish at home, raisins are not a common ingredient found in mole; instead, people use peanut butter and perhaps, pumpkin seeds. Experiment with different ingredients and make this mole your own!
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