mexican

Mole Negro de Oaxaca

I made turkey mole for 2014 Christmas dinner, and while a bit late in posting, I wanted to capture the steps/ingredient amounts before I forget. This was my first time making mole, and I can’t say I’m an expert in how exactly mole should taste, but I thought this all came out pretty fantastic (strong roasted flavors with subtle hint of chocolate).

I used a slow cooker with a 6 pound bone-in turkey breast. Added some turkey stock to the slow cooker with additional spices like cinnamon sticks and thyme, also threw in some onions and carrots.

For the mole I used various techniques and ingredient amounts from 3 different recipes:
1) Rick Bayless Oaxacan Black Mole

2) Rustica Mole Negro (Use Google Translate for English)

3) Black Mole from Oaxaca

My Version of Mole Negro de Oaxaca

~24 dry chiles total as follows:
1 dry chipotle
11 dry mulato chiles
6 dry pasilla chiles
6 dry ancho chiles
1 corn tortilla
1 medium onion
4 garlic cloves in skin
3/4 to 1 cup nuts (any mix of walnuts, pecans, peanuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup roasted sesame seeds
10 cups turkey or chicken broth (I don’t remember needing this much)
6 tomatillos
4 plum tomatoes
1 plantain
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp anise
1/4 tsp Mexican oregano
1/2 tsp dry thyme
2-3 dry avocado leaves (optional, I did find these at my Mexican grocer)
120g Mexican tablet chocolate

In a large/deep cast iron skillet:

1. Split open each chile and remove the seeds, keep the seeds in a separate small bowl
2. Dry roast the chiles, blister, put in a large bowl (not thin plastic, hot water will be added)
3. Dry roast the raisins, add to the bowl with the chiles
4. Add boiling hot water, let sit for 30 minutes – put a plate to press everything down
5. Char onion and garlic with skin on
6. Dry roast tomatos and tomatillo
7. Remove skin from garlic once cool
8. Dry roast cinnamon and anise (add to toasted sesame) – add oregano, thyme, cloves, pepper
9. Dry roast nuts
10. Add a bit of lard into pan and fry tortilla, almost burnt
11. Add the chile seeds and toast until black – take burnt tortilla and burnt chile seeds and rinse under water using strainer
12. Add more lard if needed and saute the plantains a bit
13. Use blender to puree soaked chiles and raisins, then strain into container
14. Blend everything else (add stock if needed), then strain

15. Simmer sauce 20 min
16. Add chocolate
17. SImmer additional 20 min

Advertisements

Pumpkin Empanadas (Empanadas de Calabaza)

Most of the recipes I came across for pumpkin empanadas were quite basic for the filling–a can of pumpkin puree, a few spices, some sugar. This version from Muy Bueno Cookbook is representative of most I came across online. While simple can be good, I thought there needed to more depth to the flavoring, and in a moment of pure luck after realizing I’d added too much pumpkin pie spice, I decided to fix it by adding some Crema Oaxaquena that I had on hand from serving with turkey mole on Christmas. Voila, depth of flavor achieved by adding about 1/8 to 1/4 cup of the cream.

Pumpkin Filling for Empanadas

1 tbsp butter
1/2 to 3/4 cup brown sugar (or piloncillo)
15oz can of pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp (or more) pumpkin pie spice
Pinch of salt
1/8 to 1/4 cup Crema Oaxaquena

Melt butter in saucepan, add brown sugar and melt
Add rest of ingredients and cook for 10 minutes or longer at a low temp to reduce
Cool completely before adding about 1 tbsp filling per 4-5″ diameter dough

For the empanada dough I used the recipe from the book: My Sweet Mexico – it’s just flour, sugar, salt, butter, baking powder, and heavy cream (again, I just re-used the Crema Oaxaquena).

IMG_20141230_191332_571