Thursday, April 17, 2008


Once again its Thursday and our regular grocery shopping day. Do you like grocery shopping? I do. I love to wander the aisles and see what's new and to look at all the nice fresh produce in the hope there is something different. Even if there isn't anything different, I like to look at and select the items that are there. Fresh vegetables are absolutely wonderful so long as you don't overcook them. I remember being told, many, many years ago, that most vegetables can be eaten and enjoyed raw so why cook them to death. The colours are always so appealing too, with all the different bell peppers in reds, yellows, oranges and greens; the fruits in their myriads of colours, think of plums, bananas, strawberries, oranges; the lovely greens of the leafy vegetables and lettuces; obviously I could list them forever there are so many things these days. When I was a child, we didn't have this abundance, I had no idea what a bell pepper was; bananas and pineapples didn't appear til well after the war. I was told my father brought bananas back from India one time, but I don't remember it although I do remember the beautiful Indian dolls he brought me one of which, sadly, was broken before it arrived. They were dressed in gorgeous materials which impressed me as I had never seen saris before.

We have friends coming for dinner on Saturday so we will be looking for a few extra products for the dishes we are going to prepare. We rarely, if ever, have starters and desserts on our own, but always when we have guests. This weekend, the dessert will be a kind of tribute to one of the members of my cookery group who recently passed away. She particularly loved chocolate so chocolate is what we are having. In fact, there are a number of dinner parties being held this weekend as a tribute to her, in England, Ireland, South Africa, etc. Many of them will also include chili which was another of her favourites. The hotter, the better. She had lived out east for many years and was used to very spicy foods. Chilis, another brilliant colour in the supermarket.

This is a recipe I have just copied from Chef2Chef which would have suited her down to the ground. It was copied from Glen's MM Recipe Guide apparently. I left in the comments at the end.

Title: Chocolate Mole
Yield: 12 Servings


100 g chilies anchoes
100 g chilies chipotle
100 g chilies mulato
4 tb lard
1/4 c raw sesame seeds
4 corn tortillas (6-inch -diam); cut into 1/2-inch strips
1 c finely chopped onions
1 c chopped seeded tomatoes
1/2 c chopped fresh cilantro -(coriander)
1 bay leaf; crushed
1/2 ts ground cinnamon
1/2 ts freshly ground black pepper
1/2 ts salt
1/4 ts ground cloves
1/2 ts ground cumin
1/2 ts cayenne pepper
1/2 ts oregano
4 oz bittersweet chocolate; - chopped
3 1/2 c chicken stock
1/2 c cashews; toasted and chopped


Chocolate Mole, Courtesy of my wife, Sara.

Cover all the chilies and soak for 30 minutes. Reserve 1/3 cup (3 fl oz/80 ml) of the soaking water. Stem and seed the chilies

In a medium skillet, heat 1 tblspn of the lard over medium heat. Fry the chilies for 30 seconds on each side. Remove the chilies from the skillet and add the sesame seeds; stir until toasted lightly, about 1 minute. Remove the sesame seeds from the skillet and set aside. Add 1 tblspn of
lard to the skillet and, when hot, add the tortilla strips; fry until soft, about 2 minutes.

Place the chilies, sesame seeds, tortilla strips and reserved soaking water in a blender and puree to a paste; set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tblspns lard over med-high heat; saute the onions until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cilantro and cook for 2 minutes. Add the bay leaf, cinnamon, pepper, salt, cloves, cumin, cayenne and oregano and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, or until well blended. Add the chopped chocolate and continue cooking and stirring until the chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock and cashews and bring to a boil. Add the pureed chili mixture and stir well. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes, or until the mixture thickens and the flavors have blended.
Serve with grilled pork tenderloin, duck breasts, chicken or turkey.

Makes about 3 cups (24 fl oz/750 ml)

Of course, it is beneficial if you are sipping a Texas Tornado while preparing above. (don't tell my wife I said that!)

This sauce can be used for all kinds of different dishes but the favourites seem to be poultry, I only once made a chicken mole, not sure why I have never made one again.

Anyway, have a great day.

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