But there are many, many Moles, including Green Mole with Tomatillos, Green Mole with Pumpkinseeds, Orange-Red Mole, Red Mole, Yellow Mole and the famous peasant Soup, Mole de Olla.
October 24, 2007 2:14 AM   Subscribe

How do I make a great mole (poblano)?

I've found this website, and I have a great deal of general cooking experience, but I'm not particularly adept at mexican food. I am reasonably confident I can execute a recipe, but I live in the frigid north of Canada (Vancouver), so real mole is impossible to find, thus I am determined to make my own. Ingredient sourcing is not a problem, nor is time or effort required.

What I really want to know are specific tips and tricks, general recommendations for ingredients, serving recommendations, etc. What is best done ahead of time, what is best left to the last minute? Where can I substitute and what is completely non-negotiable? If you have experience making mole, please share your l33t infoz.
posted by mek to Food & Drink (7 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Well, I make brown mole. But it's the best outside of Oaxaca. I'm pretty known for it.

You can get the bases for your mole easily. I start out with a jar of Dona Maria but then make it my own. You'll also want to order some Mexican chocolate.

The combinations of everything depend upon my mood, but generally I'll start by sauteeing some onions and chilies. Then in a saucepan I'll put the Mole sauce with the required amount of broth added. If I'm making chicken mole, which I always am, I'll use free range organic Chicken broth. One it's all combined and turning nice & saucy, I'll open up the mexican chocolate and start throwing in pieces. What I've found is that there's no way you can put too much mexican chocolate in mole. If you do, adding chiles will balance it.

You should taste it a lot, and then when you feel it's ready, you either pour it over the onions or fold the onions into the sauce. Depending on my mood I'll also add tomatoes and other junk. But not always. Sometimes it muddies up the sauce when it should stay simple.

I'll usually just throw the meat on my plug-in grill. I've served it separately from the chicken, letting people pour it on the meat themselves, and I've served the chicken combined with the sauce. I prefer them combined. The longer the chicken stays in the sauce the yummier it gets. If you're going to combine the meat & sauce, I'd recommend *slightly* undercooking the chicken before you combine it and then letting it finish cooking with the sauce.

I would say my mole takes me less than a half hour. The only things I really can prepare ahead are cutting the onions & chiles. It's fast and it's great. It is NOT low calorie or fat, however. So I just make it for special occasions. But people love it.
posted by miss lynnster at 6:53 AM on October 24, 2007

By the way, I have done mole base from scratch without using Dona Maria. And believe it or not, this version tasted more like the mole I had in Oaxaca than any recipe I tried.
posted by miss lynnster at 6:56 AM on October 24, 2007

I think mek should make all of the recipes on that page and report back regarding their differences and strengths. In other words, thanks for the link!
posted by rhizome at 9:38 AM on October 24, 2007

Mole from scratch doesn't need to take much longer than a quick-fix.

The best boost in quality you can give your concoction is by using decent dried anchos / poblanos and higher-quality mexican cocoas than the ones that've been sitting on the market shelves. I've made many moles – verde, poblano, oaxaño - and the only bad experience I had was with a tomatillo mole with an end texture much like loose oatmeal.

A hand-blender will do you well; so will cast iron cookware to help you along in your seasoning.
posted by mr. remy at 9:43 AM on October 24, 2007

If you can find it, get it shipped from Mexico, etc., Chocolate Mayordomo is the classic thickener and flavoring chocolate.

Bonus: it is exceptionally delicious.
posted by mr. remy at 9:46 AM on October 24, 2007

I thnik the one thing that is non-negotiable is the absolute freshness of the seeds and nuts.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:23 AM on October 24, 2007

Thanks a ton for the answers! I'm plan to mole it up this weekend, will be back with a report. I know a few good Mexican groceries in Vancouver, so I should have no problem finding some decent stuff to work with.
posted by mek at 6:38 PM on October 31, 2007

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