Saturday, December 5, 2009

Turkey Left-overs = MMMMmOle!

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It was the day AFTER Thanksgiving, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring.....
we were still recovering from the tryptophan crash of the day before!

Whatever were we to do with all that heirloom turkey that Besty and Jamie brought from Santa Fe? I had actually thought ahead of time and prepared a super concentrated Mole Paste at home before we all traveled to our extended family meet up on the Oregon coast in Manzanita.

Here's how I did it: FIRST I contacted my Father-in-law, the Spanish professor who is also an amazing and intrepid cook. I hoped he had "the secret recipe to a great Mole sauce"...indeed, he immediately loaned me two huge volumes on Mexican and Oaxacan cooking, both of which included several individual Mole recipes. One even had all sorts of historical fact and fable about this Sauce of Fame. (Hint: Both of these books are now on my "wish list" for Christmas!)
As I read through the recipes - many of which took days to prepare, as well as a surprising number of ingredients! I realized that as a good but "every day" cook, I needed to simplify or I'd never fulfill my promise to proved the sauce to make a Mole Fest happen on T-day 2. I decided to use....the Vita-Mix!! After that, I honed the lists of ingredients down a bit, consolidating recipes as well as being sure that the important flavor combinations weren't missing. (Jon ate 2 prior batches before declaring this was "the one").



MmmmmmmmOle Concentrate
Assemble the following ingredients in one place before beginning. I found that shopping took longer than the actual preparation!
  • 4 dried Pasilla chilies, stems & seeds removed
  • 4 dried Ancho chilies, stems & seeds removed
  • 1 (I used a canned) Chipotle chile, seeded
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 14oz can diced tomatoes & juice
  • 1 Tbs. sesame seeds,
  • 1/2 c. almonds
  • 1/4 c. tasted pepitos (pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 organic corn tortillas, torn in pieces
  • 1/4 c. raisins
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2" pieces of cinnamon, broken up a bit
Place all the above into the Vita Mix (or heavy duty blender) and puree until smooth. Really really smooth!!

In a large skillet, heat
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
Scrape the pureed chile mix into the pan and saute the puree for at least 10 minutes, stirring frequently to dissuade any little crusty bits from forming. Add
  • 3 1/2 oz. bitter chocolate (I used 1 2/3 bars of Newman's Own organic 72% chocolate - if you use unsweetened chocolate, you made need to add a small amount of sugar to balance the flavors at the end)
  • 1 c. vegetable broth
Continue stirring and cooking over very low heat for about another 15-20 minutes. The sauce will become extremely thick and paste-like. It should "feel" like a thick tomato paste does!

This made almost 1 full quart of paste - which I froze and took to our Turkey day rendezvous.
When ready to serve, we thinned the paste with chicken stock (for the turkey mole) or vegetable broth (for the bean mole). Here are the variations!

Vegetarian Mole
Saute a chopped onion, and diced celery in a deep pot. Add left-over roasted vegies (we had parsnips, sweet potatos, and beets) from Turkey dinner. Add 3 cans of assorted beans- black, kidney, pinto. Throw in 1/2 a head of chopped kale!! Stir in about 1 cup of Mole paste and 4-6 cups broth.
Turkey Mole
Saute a chopped onion, and diced celery in a deep pot. Add left-over roasted vegies (we had parsnips, sweet potatos, and beets) from Turkey dinner. Add chopped, left over turkey. Throw in 1/2 a head of chopped kale!! Stir in about 1 cup of Mole paste and 4-6 cups broth.

Serve your Mole Variations over hot rice, and pass the tortillas (if you are lucky, your Aunt Louise will have brought the tortilla press and the masa to make them fresh for dinner!!)

Hang out and play lots of music after dinner!!
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