Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mole Almendrado (Mexican Almond Based Mole Sauce)

"Mole" pronounced "MOLE-eh" is a term used to describe any complex Mexican sauce that is usually composed of some type of nut/seed, several spices, chocolate (sometimes), and dried chilies. Usually the meat in the sauce is Turkey or Chicken (the most traditional) occasionally pork.

The most common one is "Mole Poblano" which is the Mole sauce people think about when they hear "Mole" most often (chocolate and dark brown/red chilies). However, Mole can come in a variety of colors red, orange, black, maroon, brown, green, etc. A lot of Mexican cooks in the U.S.A. opt for prepackaged mole sauce, which they add stock and meat to in order to shorten the cooking time.

Today I will demonstrate a variation of Mole called "Mole Almendrado" (almond mole). This version is from scratch, and very simple

Ingredients for Stock and Chicken(for most Mole's you will need to make a good stock and have the chicken cooked already)
-Whole Chicken (skin removed, washed rinsing then rubbing with limes to clean better, cut into sections)
-Water (enough to bring in a large pot to a boil)
-½ large onion
-3 cloves garlic
-2 teaspoon Chicken Bouillon
-4 teaspoons salt or to taste
-1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
-½ teaspoon dried oregano crumbled finely with hand

-Bring water to a boil, add everything. Boil for 40 minutes. Then turn off heat. You will end up with more stock than you need but save it you can make a good vegetable soup from it the next day or use it for other dishes. You can even freeze it in ice cube trays for when you need to use chicken stock in other recipes.

Ingredients and preparation for Mole Almendrado Sauce:
-1 cup almonds with skin
-4 dried "Chile Guajillo" (if you want it spicy) or 4 dried "Chile California" or 4 dried "Chile Ancho" (if you want it not spicy.) All types should be cut open and seeds/ stems removed to lower spiciness; tops should be removed though.
-1 small stick of cinnamon
-3 whole cloves
-6 whole peppercorns
-2 ripe "Burro Bananas" or 1 ripe "Plantain"(peeled and sliced)
-½ a Bolillo bread toasted or 2 slices of toasted bread.
-4-5 roma tomatoes
-1 whole medium onion diced
-2 cloves garlic peeled
-2-3 tablespoons sugar or more to taste (okay to omit, the banana or plantain can add enough sweetness)
-Salt to taste
-Oil for frying.

-In a spice grinder or coffee grinder grind 3 cloves, 1 stick cinnamon, and 6 peppercorns to a powder and set aside
-Heat a generous amount of oil on medium heat in a deep pan or medium-large pot and sautee/ fry the almonds, dried chilies, Plantain/ Burro Bananas, onion, garlic, bread (to toast), whole tomatoes and sautee the big mess. Dump all the spices and the sugar then stir. Then tilt the pan and pour some of the excess oil into a bowl for use later IN THIS RECIPE

I added tomatoes later because I forgot to leave them whole and halved them if I added it from the beginning the sliced in half tomatoes would have released liquid and not allow the food to sautee properly

I almost forgot the bread so I toasted it seperately when I remembered that I forgot it.

-Put into a blender in small batches and blend adding the chicken stock to thin out into a not thin but not to thick sauce.
-Pour contents into a large bowl.

-Heat deep pan again or in a pot add oil reserved from this recipe then when oil is hot pour sauce. Bring to a boil on medium high stirring (so it doesn't stick to the bottom). Then lower to medium low or low and let boil for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally.

-Add chicken pieces that you cooked in the stock and allow to simmer in sauce for about 5-10 minutes. If sauce seems to thick and pasty thin out with more chicken stock. Turn of heat your done.

-Serve with Mexican Red Rice or Green Rice or White Rice along with any sides and maybe some tortillas or whatever you'd like


Anonymous said...

who knew there were bananas in mole almendrado!? awesome blog.

Unknown said...

I AM lazy. I bought a mole almendrado in Guadalajara from a Puebla company. My nuera's aunt, a Guadalajara Chauvinist, assured me that it was a good mole from the best company.
To it, I added whole tomatoes, sauteed onions, chicken broth, crushed garlic, cumin, oregano leaves, coriander, cinnamon. I make mine in a crockpot all day. I serve it with brown rice and a salad. I've made mole negro many times, adding mostly the same things except a lot of Hershey's cocoa powder. This one appears much lighter, and I can't wait to taste it.
Thanks for the blog. Maybe next time I'll add burro platanos.

Nathan said...

It's not to hard give it a try, I don't know if my mole almendrado is traditional or not, but I developed the recipe like this to suit my liking, I wanted to be purely almond based because a lot of mole almendrado's add other type of nuts into the mix and stuff. The almond flavor really comes through in this one.

¿Gusta Usted? said...

Nathan, extraordinaria tu receta de mole almendrado! Y muy bien por el paso a paso para guiarnos mejor.

Muchas gracias por compartirnos tu receta, ya se, es de tu mami!

Un abrazo

Rosanne said...

Great recipe, Nathan! Delicious almond mole! Thanks for posting it.