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Moles of Oaxaca

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There are seven moles that originated in Oaxaca. They are:
  • mole negro
  • mole colorado
  • mole coloradito
  • mole amarillo
  • mole verde
  • chíchilo negro
  • mancha manteles
Mole is usually a rather complex concoction so they are often prepared in large batches and sold in paste or powdered form in the markets. We found 5 varieties readily available in the Benito Juarez Market.

Mole Negro

1 turkey
1-1/2 T. sugar
1 oz. chocolate
3 leaves avocado or hierba santa
5-1/2 oz. lard or butter
2.2 lbs. tomatoes
5-1/2 oz. sesame seeds
1/2 tsp. almoraduj
15 black peppercorns
10 cloves
2/3 oz. walnuts
2 oz. almonds
1 hard, dry tortilla
1/2 tsp. marjoram
3-1/2 oz. black chilhuacle chiles
2.2 lbs. pork, chopped
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 oz. garlic
salt to taste

Cut the turkey into 16 pieces and parboil in a large pot with salt. Add the chopped pork and continue cooking until the meats are done. Roast the chiles in a frying pan being careful not to scorch them. Remove the seeds and membranes and roast them on the dry tortilla until they are charred. It is important that there be no burned seeds or membranes because this will make the mole bitter. Next, put the chiles, seeds, and membranes in a casserole dish and soak in hot water, trying not to include pieces of the burnt tortilla.

Toast the nuts and sesame seeds separately. Add the cloves, sauteed garlic, marjoram, cinnamon, pepper, chiles, and the almoraduj. Grind these together with the tomatoes to form a homogeneous paste.

Heat the lard and fry the mixture. Add the meat and its broth and reduce until thickened. Season with salt to taste. Finally, add the leaves (whole), chocolate, and sugar. Stir constantly over the heat for awhile and the dish is ready to serve.

Mole Verde

1 turkey
2 onions
6 oz. lard or butter
1/2 pound squash seeds
4 oz. almonds
4 oz. pecans or walnuts
3 cloves of garlic
12 poblano chiles
1-1/2 pounds tomatillos

Clean the turkey and cut into pieces, cover with water and one diced onion and simmer. Peel the squash seeds and fry in two tablespoons of lard or butter until golden brown. Grind the seeds after cooling. Likewise fry and then grind the almonds and other nuts. Remove the seeds from the chiles, brown them and remove the skins. Fry the chiles in 2 tablespoons of lard or butter.

Roast the tomatillos then chop them up with an onion and the garlic and fry. When lightly fried, add the squash seeds, chiles, nuts, and the cooked turkey. Slowly add 2-1/2 pints of the turkey broth. Add salt to taste. Cook over low heat until the sauce has thickened.

Mole Amarillo

1-1/2 lbs. beef
2 cloves garlic
1 small onion
2 chayote squash
1/2 lb. string beans
4 guajillo chiles (dried)
1 leaf hierba santa or avocado
1 medium tomato
20 tomatillos
10 cominos
1/2 cup masa
2 T. lard or butter

Cook the meat with water, garlic, onion, and salt to taste. When the meat is done add the peeled and chopped squash and the beans. Soak the chiles for three hours in cold water, remove the seeds and skins and chop. Toast the hierba santa leaf and then combine with tomato, tomatillos and cominos in a food processor and liquefy. Fry the chopped chiles in a half tablespoon of lard or butter. Add the tomatillo mixture. Finally add the meat, beans, squash, and the beef broth.

Combine the masa with a teaspoon of lard or butter and some salt. Knead well and form into small balls. When the liquid is boiling add the balls one at a time.

5 moles purchased at the Benito Juarez Market

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The Pacific Coast of Mexico www.tomzap.com Tom Penick:  tom@tomzap.com