Blog of an aspiring foodie

Mole, not the Avogadro kind

Posted by beer_chris on 1-June-2006

Thanks to the help of everyone at our Memorial Day BBQ it turned out pretty fun and in line with my expectations – laid back, no strict schedules, just a bunch of folks hanging out, talking about whatever and drinking beer. I got myself a little in the weeds with a bit of an ambitious list of stuff to prepare, but everybody pitched in and we got lunner fixed right up.

Jaime and I kicked off a little diet on Tuesday, and I find whenever I diet I get a serious hankering for chocolate. This is not a disabling craving – I can still concentrate on other things when the need hits me – but I have a really hard time without a little square of Hershey Special Dark at lunch time (one square is only 14 calories after all).

In any case, with this diet driven desire fueling me on towards the end of my workday on Wednesday, I decided on chicken mole for dinner on Wednesday night. I dug around on Recipezaar and found this easy little dude. The best part was that it called for jarred salsa – which I happened to have quite a bit of leftover from the BBQ – and unlike previous moles I had made this one didn't (a) have tons of fat and chocolate in it (only 2 tbsp of cocoa powder) or (b) require hours and hours of simmering.

What a hit! This mole was just the right balance of chocolate, spice, and tomato flavor. Adding the salsa made the tomato balance really work. However, I used medium heat salsa, and even eliminating the chili powder it was still a bit too fiery even for my palate (and I eat jalapenos as a snack). Mild salsa next time.

A little Internet research turns up that contrary to what I believed, mole is not some holdover from the Aztecs, but a colonial-Mexican invention. Apparently the Aztecs never cooked with chocolate – would have been something like a Catholic priest using holy water to make a pitcher of Crystal Light.

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