02 May 2012

mole negro oaxaqueño

I've enjoyed my prior experimentation with mole sauces, and have worked a bit to refine my technique. This time I wanted to go with the black mole style of Oaxaca. I used guajillo and pasilla dried chiles. (If you've ever wondered why your homemade salsa and savory sauces don't have the right kick, you're not using the right combination of dried chiles in the right way.) The pasillas are on top, and are so dark green that they appear black in the photo.

As a side note, this is a great opportunity to visit your local international market. I got several months' worth of both peppers for a total of $4, while the same price would have netted only a small bag of one variety at the mainstream grocery store.

I'm not going to go into every ingredient, but my mole included homemade chicken stock, tomato sauce, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, Mexican chocolate, the aforementioned guajillos and pasillas, onion, garlic, and many other goodies, all properly toasted, layered, simmered, and blended.

I was going to use this for braised rabbit, but I set aside most of the sauce to rest in the freezer next to the bunnies. Do Cryogenic Lagomorphs Dream of Electric Carrots? Instead, I smoked a pork shoulder and used the mole as a topping for burritos. I also included crema salvadoreña, a cultured sour cream that's a bit milder and sweeter than the American version but very tasty.

My mole isn't as smooth or as dark as it should be, but I absolutely adore it, and it goes so well with pork. I need to work on my dried chile balance and to up the proportion. I'm also still working on a proper nut balance, and like what the almonds and pumpkin seeds bring to the blend. I need to work with peanuts and maybe even pistachios. Kaizen is the Japanese quality concept of continuous improvement, and I will continue to work on my mole recipes until I master the skill and one day create my own perfect mole benito.


Jim Bates said...

You've got a cool blog. Wine and food along with bits of your life. Well done sir!

I like the Phillip K. Dick reference and I know I saw a gripping hand comment a few months ago. Since you also include the occasional typography related tidbit, we must have some common interests. Thanks for putting this column out there for me to read.

- Jim

Benito said...


Thanks for reading, and I'm glad that someone appreciates the occasional classic sci-fi reference. :)