By Chef Ella Freyinger

May 2021

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • FOR THE MOLE
  • 8 dried mulato chiles
  • 8 dried pasilla chiles
  • 4 dried chilhuacle negro chiles
  • 1 plum tomato, halved
  • ½ medium onion, sliced into 4 pieces
  • 3 tomatillos, husks removed, washed
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 ripe plantain, peeled, sliced
  • 1” thick slice brioche bread, torn into large pieces
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, crushed
  • 3 whole allspice berries
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 tbsp raw pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp raw sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp aniseed
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¾ cup FE dried fruit/nut mix
  • 4 oz Oaxacan chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 2–4 tbsp sugar
  • 6 cups chicken broth, divided
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • FOR THE VEGETABLES
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 2 medium turnips
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 2 spring onions
  • FOR ASSEMBLY
  • 8 -12 tortillas
  • 1 cup crumbled cotija cheese
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves

Steps

  • FOR THE MOLE
  • A bit of advice before you set out on this guided Mole adventure. If you have a fan in your kitchen or a range hood, turn it on high. There will be smoke; there will be the spicy scent of chilies filling your abode. Surrender to the sounds of the fan as part of this experience. You and your family will be grateful.
  • A second piece of advice: Gather and prepare ALL of your ingredients before you begin. This will make the process quite a bit smoother.
  • Using kitchen shears or scissors; cut chilies lengthwise and remove seeds, discard the stems and set seeds aside. In a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, toast the seeds until deeply golden brown, almost blackened. In the same skillet, place the chiles cooking 1 minute per side or until they begin to blister. Place in a heat safe bowl and cover with boiling water. Let rest for 20 minutes or until the chilies have softened.
  • While the chilies are soaking; place the tomato, onion, garlic and tomatillos in the same cast iron skillet. Cook for 15 minutes, turning every 3-4 minutes to achieve an even char. Place in the blender and blend with ½ cup of chicken broth. Set aside.
  • In the same skillet, place 1 tbsp of oil and the plantains. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Place in a medium bowl. To the bowl of plantains, add the fruit and nut mix.
  • Again, in the same skillet, place the brioche and cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Add to the plantain bowl.
  • Once more, in the same skillet, add the cinnamon sticks, allspice, cloves, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, anise and cumin. Toast until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add to the plantain bowl.
  • Place the contents from the plantain into a blender and add 2 cups of broth. Blend until smooth adding more broth if needed.
  • Strain the chilies, reserving the liquid, and place in the blender. Add 2 cups broth and blend until smooth, adding more broth if needed.
  • In a large dutch oven or stock pot, heat the remaining 2 tbsp oil. Add the chilie puree and cook, stirring constantly (this will not only prevent the chilie puree from burning to the bottom of the pan but will also keep the mixture from splattering all over your kitchen.) for 15 minutes or until the volume has reduced by ⅓. Add tomato puree and cook another 10
    minutes, stirring constantly. Next, add plantain puree and cook an additional 10 minutes. Add another 1 cup of the chilies soaking liquid, stir to combine, reduce heat to love, cover and cook another 20 minutes.
  • Add the chocolate and stir until melted. Mole should be thick enough to coat a spatula. If needed, add more broth to thin or cook slightly longer to thicken.
  • Can be stored in the fridge for up to one week and in the freeze for up to 3 months.
  • FOR THE VEGETABLES
  • Preheat oven to 400° F.
  • Cut the vegetables into ½ inch pieces. Place on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Roast for 20 minutes or until the vegetables begin to caramelize.
  • Transfer to a small saucepan with 2 cups of mole. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  • FOR ASSEMBLY
  • Lay tortillas out on a platter. Top with root vegetable mole, cotija, cilantro and garnish with lime wedges.
  • Enjoy!