Chiapas Mole (Mole Chiapaneco)
Makes 8 servings
8 medium ancho chilies, stemmed, seeded, torn into flat pieces
2 large plum tomatoes
2 medium tomatillos, husked, rinsed
3 slices sandwich bread, toasted, torn into quarters
1/2 of a 3-ounce round of Mexican chocolate, see note
1 cup pitted prunes
1/4 teaspoon each: ground cinnamon, freshly ground pepper
2 quarts or 4 cans (14 ounces each) chicken broth, plus more if necessary
2 tablespoons fresh pork lard or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Per serving: 215 calories, 7 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 3 milligrams cholesterol, 32 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams protein, 1,134 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber
1. Toast the chili pieces a few at a time in a heavy skillet over medium heat, pressing flat with a spatula until fragrant, 20-30 seconds. Turn; toast the other side. Transfer to a bowl; cover with hot water. Place a small plate on top to keep them submerged; let stand 30 minutes. Drain.
2. Heat a broiler. Spread the tomatoes and tomatillos on a baking sheet. Broil about 4 inches from heat until blackened, blistered and soft, 5-7 minutes per side. Cool; peel off tomato skins. Combine tomatoes, tomatillos, toast pieces, chocolate, prunes, cinnamon and black pepper in a blender. Add 3/4 cup of the broth; blend until smooth. Pour into a bowl; set aside.
3. Place chilies in the blender. Add 1 cup of the broth; puree. Press through a medium-mesh strainer into a bowl. Heat lard in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; add chili puree. Cook, stirring, until thick as tomato paste, about 7 minutes.
4. Stir in the remaining broth and the reserved tomato mixture. Partially cover; simmer over medium-low until the consistency of cream soup, about 1 hour. Season with sugar and salt.
- From Rick Bayless
Note: Mexican chocolate, a combination of sugar, cacao nibs and cinnamon, is available in Latin American and Mexican markets. A tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa can substitute.
Complexly flavored moles are one of the signatures of Mexican cooking, and each region has its own renditions. This Chiapas-style recipe provides enough sauce to slowly braise two cut-up broiler-fryers or a 3-pound pork loin.