Mole is a topic that is close to my heart. As a child, my parents took my sister and I for an extended stay in Mexico, where we lived with a host family and attended school for the purpose of learning Spanish. It was there that I had my first taste of mole negro; the “mother sauce” of Mexico. I’ll never forget that first, heady taste of rich chiles with bitter chocolate, at once round and bold and assertive, yet simultaneously beautifully complex and nuanced.
Though I sometimes make a version of the sauce that I first had in the hills of Mexico as a child, the three day commitment it requires is often more than I have to give over to my food fetish! This hearty sauce, using our fantastic Mole Ole blend, incorporates everything that I love about true mole, and satisfies the craving in a way that isn’t to be believed by something this easy. The sweetness of the Ancho and Pasilla Negro chiles in Mole Ole perfectly offsets the bitter tones of the Valrhona cocoa, highlighted by the fragrant top notes of true cinnamon, and supported by nutty sesame seeds. It’s a perfect vehicle for leftover turkey in the days following Thanksgiving, either as filling for tacos, as we’ve pictured, or in enchiladas.
2 pounds cooked turkey meat, shredded
1 can fire roasted tomatoes, drained
1 can tomatillos, drained
1 plantain- on the green side- diced small
2, one-inch slices challah or other egg bread
½ cup Mole Ole, ground
1 tablespoon Chipotle Flakes
1/2 cup whole almonds
1/2 cup raisins
1 small onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil until hot but not smoking. Add almonds and toast until golden, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to paper towel–lined plate, reserving the oil.
- Add raisins to oil in skillet and sauté until plump, about 2 minutes. Transfer to paper towel–lined plate, again reserving oil.
- Add onion and garlic and plantain to skillet and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and tomatillos to onion and garlic mixture, and simmer over medium-high heat until reduced by half, about ten minutes.
- Transfer almonds and raisins to the tomato mixture along with the Mole Ole spice blend and the challah.
- Working in batches, add mixture to blender and purée until smooth, adding the stock to thin to the desired consistency.
- Return the blended sauce to medium heat, and season to taste with salt, sugar and Chipotle Flakes.
- Simmer over low heat for ten minutes to develop flavors. Add the cooked, shredded turkey meat, and toss to coat in the sauce. Use to fill enchiladas, tacos, burritos, or to top nachos.
World Spice Merchants http://www.worldspice.com
Categories: Course, Global Cuisines, Latin America, Main Meals, Recipes
Tags: comfort food, enchiladas, Mole Negro, Mole Ole, Oaxaca, tacos, thanksgiving, Turkey
Tender carrots are surprisingly sweet when baked in a brown sugar-y syrup, especially when united with perfect Washington apples and plump little raisin gems. The fresh ginger is such a classic pairing with the carrot, and is highlighted perfectly by the Star Anise in our Chinese Five Spice. The all-butter crust recipe I’ve included is a long-time standby of mine, and produces some of the flakiest and best pastry I’ve ever tasted. It will definitely be making an appearance at my Thanksgiving table this year!
Chinese Five Spiced Apple Carrot Pie
For the Crust:
2 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour- preferably Gold Medal or King Arthur brands
1 cup chilled, unsalted butter, the best quality you can afford
½ cup very cold water
1 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
For the Filling:
3 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled
3 medium McIntosh or Pink Lady apples, peeled
6 large carrots, peeled
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon Lemon Crystal
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon Utah Basin salt
1 tablespoon ground Chinese Five Spice
1 teaspoon Vietnamese Cassia Cinnamon
½ cup boiling water
3 tablespoons dry sherry (or port/liquor of your choosing)
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons softened butter
- Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees
- Pour boiling water and 1 tablespoon of the sherry over raisins, and allow to soak
- In a food processor, pulse flour, salt, and sugar several times to combine. Add butter. Pulse until mixture mostly resembles coarse meal, with few pea-size pieces remaining. This can be done without a food processer, using a pastry cutter, two knives, or your hands, but be wary of over working it.
- Sprinkle in cold water, beginning with 3 tablespoons. Pulse until dough is crumbly, but holds together when squeezed. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time until this happens, but again, do not overprocess.
- Turn dough out onto a cutting board. Divide in to two equal portions, and form each portion in to 3/4-inch-thick disks. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
- While dough chills, assemble filling.Peel and core apples, and cut in to slices 1/8 of an inch thick. Cut carrots on the bias so they’re approximately the same size as the apple slices, but 1/16 of an inch thick.
- In a large bowl, toss apples, carrots, ginger, sugars, Lemon Crystal, Chinese Five Spice, salt, and flour until well incorporated.
- Drain raisins, and incorporate with other filling ingredients. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of sherry to filling mixture.
- Unwrap dough; place on a large floured cutting board. Roll dough to a 14-inch round. Wrap dough around rolling pin and carefully unroll over a 9-inch pie plate. Gently fit into bottom and up sides of plate. Using a fork, prick holes all around the dough to allow crust to vent and prevent shrinkage.
- Fill crust with filling, pressing gently to tamp down. Dot top of filling with softened butter.
- Roll out second dough disk to a ten inch round. Wrap around rolling pin, and drape over filled pie dish.
- Trim overhang, and crimp top and bottom crusts together.
- Bake pie at 425 for 25 minutes, then reduce heat to 375 for another 35 minutes, or until crust is golden, juices are bubbling, and apples and carrots are tender. Cool for four hours, and serve alone or with lightly sweetened whipped cream.
World Spice Merchants http://www.worldspice.com
Categories: Asia, North America, Recipes, Sweet Somethings
Tags: apples, autumn, carrots, Chinese Five Spice, desserts, Fall, pie, raisins, thanksgiving