Monday, January 11, 2010

Holy Mole!! We're making a babaaaay!

The Tart factory is back in full swing and we’ve been busy creating many delights…and our pièce de résistance is a BABY! Yup. WE are expecting a baby Tart in a matter of months! Wait, not both of us… and not together. My husband and I (Erin) made the baby, without Danielle. She was at her house. With her boyfriend. Hmmm…this is getting weird. Anyway, Danielle will be helping in many ways and is very excited!

So in the spirit of family, we were inspired this week to make a recipe that’s been passed down from generation to generation in many Mexican households…a classic mole. This dish is as traditional as it can get- well, traditional for a kitchen in SoCal. Uh, make that a SoCal kitchen operated by Tarts.

Mole, which comes from the Aztec word ‘molli,’ meaning concoction or stew, comes in many different styles. Danielle had a recipe for the well-known Mole Negro off a Oaxacan website,, as Oaxaca is arguably the epicenter of mole. It’s no longer available online, but we're bringing it to you...

Mole Negro Oaxaqueño

1 4-pound chicken cut into pieces (we used 8 organic breasts)
4 pasilla chiles
2 guajillo chiles
2 ancho chiles

Note to fellow Tarts: Varieties of chiles can be a bit confusing. An ancho chile is a dried poblano pepper, but in CA, a fresh pasilla is also called a poblano, so dried pasillas can also be dried poblanos. But a true pasilla is a dried chilaca. Well, now we're confused. Bottom line is to improvise with what's available around you. We couldn't find a true pasilla so we used extra ancho and threw in a fire-roasted poblano, that we then steamed in a Ziploc bag for twenty minutes before removing the blackened skin and seeding it.

2 cups boiling water
1 tomato, peeled and chopped
1 small onion, quartered
1 slice white bread (we used brown rice bread)
2 Tbsp dried apricots (soaked first in hot water, 20 min)
2 Tbsp chopped almonds
2 Tbsp chopped peanuts
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups chicken stock
1 ounce dark unsweetened chocolate
1 bay leaf
salt, to taste

Simmer chicken in lightly salted water for 45 min. Let cool in broth.

Remove stems and seed from chiles. Rinse under cold water and tear into pieces. Put pieces in a bowl with boiling water. Let stand for 30 min. Make sure they are covered with water.

In a blender or food processor, purée the chiles with 1 cup of the liquid they were soaking in, tomato, onion, bread, apricots, almonds, peanuts, garlic, the un-toasted sesame seeds, thyme, oregano, pepper, cinnamon and cloves.

In a large saucepan, heat the oil and cook the purée over medium heat, stirring often, 10 min.
Add the chicken stock, chocolate, bay leaf and salt.

Simmer for 30 min. (Should begin to darken)

(Notice Preggers can't wait to taste. Busted!)

Then add the chicken, continue to simmer for 10 more minutes...then plate.

We opted to garnish with cilantro, avocado and Cotija, a mexican queso and served it over brown rice with some grilled peppers on the side...

We forgot to add the toasted sesame seeds on top, but it was delicious and we scarfed it down while I, Erin, watched everyone wash it down with a nice cold beer....(not bitter, promise)...then I danced cuz we made mole and I'm having a babaaaay!

Come on, Danielle. Have a babaaay!



  1. That Mole looks amazing and not tooooo difficult to make!!! Happy baby and yes come on Danielle....have a BABYYYYYYYY ;)

  2. so exciting!congratulations!