Tag Archives: almonds

Chicken Mole Rojo and Green Chili Bomba with Fried Plantains

Local, pastured chicken is seasoned with cracked cumin, sea salt and black pepper, then quickly roasted before being lacquered with a densely-flavored, traditional red mole.  Topped with toasted sesame seeds and minced onions & cilantro, and served with stock-simmered bomba rice with onions, green chiles and fried plantains..

Chicken Mole Rojo and Green Chili Bomba with Fried Plantains

Mole Rojo Clasico (recipe by Rick Bayless)

5 ounces (2-3 medium) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1/2 cup (about 6 1/2 ounces) sesame seeds
1/2 cup rich-tasting pork lard or vegetable oil, plus a little more if necessary
3 ounces (about 6 medium) dried mulato chiles, stemmed, seeded & torn into large pieces
2 ounces (about 4 medium) dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded & torn into large pieces
2 ounces (about 5 medium) dried pasilla chiles, stemmed, seeded & torn into large pieces
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) unskinned raw almonds
1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) raisins
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, preferably freshly ground Mexican canela
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, preferably freshly ground
1/4 teaspoon anise, preferably freshly ground
1/8 teaspoon cloves, preferably freshly ground
1 slice firm white bread, darkly toasted and broken into several pieces
1 ounce (about 1/3 of a 3.3-ounce tablet) Mexican chocolate, roughly chopped
1 1/2 quarts chicken broth
Salt
unrefined sugar to taste

On a rimmed baking sheet, roast the tomatillos 4 inches below a very hot broiler until splotchy black and thoroughly soft, about 5 minutes per side.  Scrape into a large bowl.  In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds, stirringly nearly constantly, until golden, about 5 minutes.  Scrape half of them in with the tomatillos.  Reserve the remainder for sprinkling on the chicken.

Brown other mole ingredients.  Turn on an exhaust fan or open a kitchen door or window.  In a very large soup pot (I typically use a 12-quart stainless steel stock pot or a medium-large Mexican earthenware cazuela), heat the lard or oil over medium.  When quite hot, fry the chiles, three or four pieces at a time, flipping them nearly constantly with tongs until their interior side has changed to a lighter color, about 20 or 30 seconds total frying time.  Don’t toast them so darkly that they begin to smoke—that would make the mole bitter.  As they’re done, remove them to a large bowl, being careful to drain as much fat as possible back into the pot.  Cover the toasted chiles with hot tap water and let rehydrate 30 minutes, stirring frequently to insure even soaking.

Remove any stray chile seeds left in the fat.  With the pot still over medium heat, fry the garlic and almonds, stirring regularly, until browned (the garlic should be soft), about 5 minutes.  With a slotted spoon, remove to the tomatillo bowl, draining as much fat as possible back into the pot.

Add the raisins to the hot pot.  Stir for 20 or 30 seconds, until they’ve puffed and browned slightly.  Scoop them out, draining as much fat as possible back into the pot, and add to the tomatillos. Set the pan aside off the heat.

To the tomatillo mixture, add the cinnamon, black pepper, anise, cloves, bread and chocolate.  Add 2 cups water and stir to combine.

Blend, strain, cook.  Into a large measuring cup, tip off the chiles’ soaking liquid. Taste the liquid:  if it’s not bitter, discard all abut 6 cups of the liquid. (if you’re short, add water to make up the shortfall).  If bitter, pour it out and measure 6 cups water.  Scoop half of the chiles into a blender jar, pour in half of the soaking liquid (or water) and blend to a smooth puree.  Press through a medium-mesh strainer into a large bowl; discard the bits of skin and seeds that don’t pass through the strainer.  Repeat with the remaining chiles.

Return the soup pot or cazuela to medium heat.  When quite hot, pour in the chile puree—it should sizzle sharply and, if the pan is sufficiently hot, the mixture should never stop boiling.  Stir every couple of minutes until the chile puree has darkened and reduced to the consistency of tomato paste, about a half hour. (I find it useful to cover the pot with an inexpensive spatter screen to catch any spattering chile.)

In two batches, blend the tomatillo mixture as smoothly as possible (you may need an extra 1/2 cup water to keep everything moving through the blades), then strain it in to the large bowl that contained the chiles. When the chile paste has reduced, add the tomatillo mixture to the pot and cook, stirring every few minutes until considerably darker and thicker, 15 to 20 minutes. (Again, a spatter screen saves a lot of cleanup.)

Simmer.  Add the broth to the pot and briskly simmer the mixture over medium to medium-low heat for about 2 hours for all the flavors to come together and mellow. If the mole has thickened beyond the consistency of a cream soup, stir in a little water.  Taste and season with salt (usually about 4 teaspoons) and the sugar and keep warm.

For the Green Chili Bomba (adapted from a recipe by Rick Bayless)

1 cup bomba rice (a special type of Spanish paella rice)
3 cups rich chicken stock
1 cup yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons rendered chicken fat
1/4 thinly-sliced green chiles
sea salt

ripe plantains
butter or peanut oil

Place the rice in a strainer and rinse under cold, filtered water until the water runs clear.  Allow to drain 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, heat the chicken stock until steaming.

Heat the chicken fat in heavy, high-walled skillet until shimmering.  Add the rice and stir constantly until it floats freely in the hot fat.  Add onions and chiles and cook 8 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add chicken stock and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat to low and cook without stirring 10 minutes.  Remove from heat, cover and let stand 15 minutes.  Fluff the rice with a fork just before serving.

To prepare

Season chicken joints with salt, pepper and cracked cumin and roast in a heavy skillet in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Remove pan from oven, dunk chicken in mole and return to pan to the oven for 30 minutes at 325 degrees.  Remove pan from oven, baste chicken with more mole and allow to stand 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, fry slices of ripe plantain in hot peanut oil or butter until deep golden brown on both sides.  Set aside to drain.

Arrange chicken on one side of plate and spoon a little mole over the top.  Garnish with toasted white sesame seeds, minced onion and cilantro.  Arrange rice next to the chicken and garnish with fried plantains.  Serve hot.

Mango Mole (Sauce)

Adapted from a recipe in Bon Appétit magazine (via Edible Therapy), this complex sauce is fantastic with pickled red onions and grilled pork chops..

Making Mango Mole
Making Mango Mole

2 tablespoons leaf lard or other fat
1 large plantain, sliced
1 cup fresh diced mango
2 large dried Guajillo or Ancho chilies, stems and seeds removed
1/2 cup chopped white onion
12 whole raw almonds
1 tablespoon homemade chili base
2 tablespoons shelled peanuts
2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 small bay leaf
1 small bunch fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground pepper
1 teaspoon true cinnamon shards
2 cups homemade chicken stock, more or less
1 small piece Mexican chocolate

Heat the fat in a large skillet over medium heat. Add plantains, chili base and everything else except stock and chocolate.  Sauté until plantain is soft, about 5 minutes.

Add 1 1/2 cups chicken stock.  Reduce heat and simmer until chilies are tender, about 15 minutes.

Puree sauce in blender then return to skillet.

Add chocolate and stir until incorporated.  Thin with reserved stock if necessary, then season to taste with sea salt and black pepper.



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Horchata

Horchata is a traditional agua fresca commonly served in Spain, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico.  Depending on the region, it may be made with sesame seeds, rice, tigernuts, barley, cinnamon, vanilla and sugar..

Horchata
Horchata

1/2 cup aged basmati
1/2 cup raw almonds
1 1/2 inches Ceylon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup fresh whole milk, more or less
non-refined sugar to taste

Pulverize dry rice in a blender or food processor and transfer to a glass bowl.  Add almonds and cinnamon then pour boiling water over the top.  Cover and allow to stand overnight.

Transfer soaked rice, almonds and cinnamon to a blender and blend for 3 minutes.  Strain mixture into a clean container, thin with milk and sweeten to taste.

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Rainbow Trout

A densely nutritious, healing meal of panko and almond-crusted fresh Idaho rainbow trout, sautéed in coconut oil with scallions, coconut flakes and wild dulse, with gingered forbidden rice and bunapi mushrooms..

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Prepare forbidden rice using a ratio of about 1 cup rice to 1 3/4 cup filtered water and/or vegetable stock.  Add a teaspoon of raw coconut butter and another of fresh minced ginger at the end.  Cover and keep warm.

Rinse, trim and pat dry fresh rainbow trout fillets.  Coat in a mixture of crushed almonds, parsley and panko crumbs and sauté in  coconut oil over medium-low heat until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.

Meanwhile, sauté bunapi-shimeji mushrooms, coconut flakes, scallions and rinsed dulse until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.  Season to taste with black sea salt and Szechuan pepper.

Dulse is high in protein and contains all of the trace elements needed by humans.

To serve, dress salmon with vegetables and sriracha accompanied with rice and mushrooms.

Herb & Nut Roasted Pork Tenderloin w/Bourbon Cream

Served with maple butter glazed sweet potatoes and sautéed haricots verts with shiitake mushrooms..

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Trimmed pork tenderloin dredged in seasoned flour, dipped in egg wash with a little sweet sorghum syrup and cider vinegar then rolled in chopped pecans, walnuts, pistachios, almonds and fresh sage, rosemary and thyme.

Sorghum cooking at Sandhill Farm

Seal tightly, pressing nuts into the pork. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.

To cook, unwrap pork and place in a 350 degree oven until internal temperature reaches 150 degrees (mine took about 25 minutes).  Transfer meat to cutting board and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, deglaze the skillet with a little bourbon then add some stock and quickly reduce in volume by half.  Add heavy cream and continue to reduce until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Whisk in a spoonful of coarse mustard and finish with a knob of whole butter.

Arrange sliced pork tenderloin on a platter and dress with the bourbon sauce.

Rating  ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦