Friday, December 21, 2007

Deep Freeze Summer Challenge: Turkey Mole

Back in June I had grand plans to participate in the Deep Freeze Summer Challenge issued by Chris at Mele Cotte's. It's too bad, too, because it was right up my alley. The challenge was to cook something using ingredients from your freezer, which dovetailed right in with my goal to use everything in my freezer for Operation Freezer Burn.

All that remained in the freezer from last year's Thanksgiving turkey was half of a slightly over-roasted breast and a jar of the rich dark broth that came out of the roasting pan. I knew I wanted to take another stab at mole but was taking my time deciding to get started on it. Chris's challenge was just the motivation to get me started.

The last time I made it (for IMBB 25) , I did not let the mole cook down enough and it was too thin. I also added peanut butter, which Lynda said gave it a slightly Thai flavor with which I agreed and omitted this time around. I did, however, have some sliced almonds on hand, which I did not have last time, so I added those.

I can't remember how I pureed the sauce last time, but this time I just stuck my stick blender into the skillet and smoothed away. I believe I have mentioned before how much I love that thing but it bears repeating at every opportunity. It's a miracle tool.

So here is the mole simmering away on the stove. As you can see, it made quite a bit. I let it simmer for a couple of hours before ladling it over the sliced turkey breast and serving it with some purple potatoes that I boiled, sliced, and drizzled with olive oil, salt, and pepper, along with a tomato, cucumber, and yellow bell pepper salad. It was quite tasty.

But even while I simmered it for a couple of hours this time, I realized it could still stand to be cooked down some more. So a couple of days later I put it in a saucepan and let it really cook down. It came out darker, smokier, and even more flavorful.

While this has little similarity to the magical moles at New Rebozo, I am quite proud of my developing skills with this sauce.
Mole Pasilla

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 pasilla peppers
hot water
1 onion, chopped fine
6-10 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable stock (I used my leftover turkey stock)
3 Tbsp bread crumbs
1/2 cup ground almonds
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
2-1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tablet Mexican chocolate (or approximately 3 oz. semisweet chocolate and 3/4 tsp. cinnamon)
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Add peppers and let plump for 1 or 2 minutes. Remove to bowl, leaving oil in skillet. Cover peppers with hot water, and let sit for 30 minutes. Remove stems (and seeds if you want less heat), break into pieces and chop in blender.

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté, stirring frequently, for approximately 10 minutes. Add cumin, oregano, chili powder, almonds and bread crumbs and cook, continuing to stir frequently, for 3 more minutes.

Add vegetable stock and blended pasilla peppers. Place in a blender and puree, or puree in the skillet with a stick blender. Add chocolate. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for several hours, stirring occasionally, until it has reached the desired consistency.

Delicious over sliced roasted turkey or pork chops.

Adapted from several recipes found online and in various cookbooks.


Chris said...

This looks great! I think I may need to do another Deep freezer is getting a bit full. Thanks for mentioning the event! :)

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