Monday, September 6, 2010

Mole de Vaso (Cup Mole)

Like I've said in previous "Mole" (pronounced "mol- eh") posts. Mole can be considered a type of complex Mexican curry made with a combination of spices (cloves, cinnamon, pepper, etc.) dried chile's, nuts/ seeds, chocolate, and some unsuspected ingredients (bread, corn tortillas as a thickener, and stuff like plantains as a sweetener) however their are Mole's that use different ingredients and don't include chocolate (for example "Mole Verde"/ green mole, some versions of "Mole Almendrado"/ almond mole, etc.) but the commonly and well known one's do.

In the USA and even in Mexico when people think of Mole they will think of the one I described, and the Mole that comes to mind is the popular "Mole Poblano" which is a dark to redish brown color. HOWEVER almost no one makes it from scratch in general because it is very labour intensive, the long list of ingredients, and amount of time it consumes (yes it can take 5 hours sometimes longer maybe all day) if prepared from scratch.

The solution, well in Mexico a lot of people buy pre-made concentrated wet pastes which have all the ingredients and spices ground up to a thick paste, taking out a lot of the hard work, all the chilies, spices, and most everything already in the paste. Same goes for here in the USA, a popular brand of Mole paste is "Dona Maria" it is what most people here use, or imported mole pastes from Mexico or fresh one's made here are sometimes available.

So today I want to show people how to prepare the short-cut version of Mole using the Mole paste for the typical mole "Poblano" I do have the scratch version on my blog, but I know many probably won't make it so I want to share the convenient one :) and I personally only make Mole from scratch once a year and it's easy to mess up, when it's from scratch if you over toast or fry the chilies it may turn to bitter or burnt (it happened to me last year because i wasn't watching the time and heat) From my mother's side I am known for my "Mole Negro Oaxaceno" I will prepare it sometime this year (I usually make it around November and December) so stay tuned :)

So without further chit chat I present to you my "Abuelita Leonor's" recipe for short cut Mole which is amazingly delicious give it a try, :) (Abuelita Leonor is my grandmother from my mother's side and is originally from Guadalajara, Mexico) my grandmother calls the short cut version "Mole de Vaso"

Ingredients for boiling meat:
-5- 6 lbs of chicken or turkey (1 chicken and about 2 lbs of drumsticks or thigh and leg meat if using turkey, you can use a whole one, or buy legs & wings, etc)
-1/2 medium onion
-2-3 cloves garlic whole
-2 bay leaves
-1 tsp. ground cumin (optional)
-salt to taste
-1 teaspoonful chicken bouillon
-water (about 9 cups? 2 liters just enough to submerge you chicken or turkey)

Ingredients for the rest of the dish :)
-1 container 8. 5 oz. of "Dona Maria Mole"
-chicken or turkey stock
(from boiling the meat reserved as needed)
-1 onion minced
-1 can 8 oz/ 1 cup of tomato sauce
-1/2 cup of tomato ketchup
-1/4 cup of oil or lard (any oil will do in Mexican cooking usually lard is used or corn oil)
-1 whole tablet of Mexican Chocolate (popular one's are "Chocolate Abuelita" and "Ibarra")

Optional Ingredients (depends on how sweet you like it like how much chocolate taste you like or sweetness keep in mind the sauce will get sweet and stronger in taste as it cools and time goes by, the next day it will be stronger):
-1/2 tablet of Mexican Chocolate (in addition to the chocolate you already used)
-sugar to taste (add it in tablespoon increments, this is also optional)

Directions for boiling meat and making stock:
(1) Wash chicken or turkey really well, in my house we like to wash it once with water, drain, then wash it again in the sink sumberging it, adding a couple palmfulls of salt and rubbing it well, along with some cut limes nad their juice to get rid of any bad odor and taste, we then rinse once more and drain, then pat-dry. Cut your meat into sections.

(2) Bring water to a boil, add your chicken or turkey and the onion, garlic, bay leaves, bouillon powder, and salt to taste, cover and boil on medium low 35 minutes if using chicken and 2-3 hours if using turkey.

(3) When meat is tender and cooked it should look like this, take out the meat, set it aside, and strain the broth/ stock. Reserve and set aside.

Directions for forming the sauce:
(1) Open your mole paste container, add it to the blender, and blend it with enough chicken stock to liquify it. Set aside.

(2) Heat a large deep-pot on medium high, add oil or lard, when hot add onions and sautee until translucent and golden about 5-7 minutes,
add in tomato ketchup, give a good stir,
when it bubbles add tomato sauce,
when it bubbles again add in the blended mole paste that you liquified with chicken stock
(3) Bring it to a rolling boil, then lower heat to medium so the botttom doesn't stick, add your chocolate, and stir occasionally so it doesn't stick until chocolate melts, as your sauce boils you will notice that it starts to thicken up, add more reserved chicken stock a little at a time in about 1/2 cup increments, until it is as thick or thin as you like it, the thickness is to your personal preference in my house we like it the consistency of gravy, like just thick enough to lightly coat the back of a wooden spoon. After it's as thick as you'd like taste to adjust salt, and see if you wanna add the other 1/2 tablet of chocolate and if you desire additional sugar to taste. However my mother doesn't like it on the sweet side so we left it as is at this point.
(4) After it boils 10 minutes, add your chicken and boil an additional 5 minutes. Turn off heat and you can serve with "Arroz Mexicano Rojo" (Mexican red rice) and warm tortillas if you'd like "Frijoles de la Olla" (pinto beans boiled with garlic and onion) goes well with this too.
Now my post isn't over for those of you interested in the from scratch version of this dish check out my post for "Mole Poblano" and if interested in other types of Mole's I also have the recipe for my version of "Mole Almendrado" (almond based mole) and "Mole Verde" (green mole)

-You may or may not have leftover sauce after eating all the meat with the delicious Mole sauce, if you have leftover sauce, it's great in the morning with some eggs, you can make some sunny side up eggs, serve it over rice, then pour mole sauce mmmmm... or add it to a bowl of boiled pinto beans and enjoy with warm tortillas, even scrample some eggs, throw hot mole sauce over it and enjoy with tortillas as well, just whatever you so don't throw away any leftover Mole sauce :)

If your truely in a hurry as well there is a pork version that is faster, get pork spare ribs or pork shoulder meat, cut into chunks about 1 or 2 inch chunks, brown in lard or oil, add minced onion when translucent add ketchup, then tomato, and dilute the mole paste with water or store-bought chicken or beef stock/ broth, add it to the pork, bring to a boil, add more water or chicken or beef stock to thin out the sauce while it boils to your liking, along with the chocolate taste for salt. If you used water you'll have to add 1 beef bouillon cube or 2 teaspoons of chicken bouillon cube then salt to taste. Simmer until everything is tender. (I will do a detailed post for this in the future for those that might be interested :)