Mole is a rich chili and spice sauce from Mexico that incorporates sometimes dozens of ingredients cooked over many hours and reflects the complex flavors of each cook or restaurant.
The best-known legend of the origins of Mole Poblano says that it was created at the Convent of Santa Rosa in Puebla. An archbishop was visiting, and there was nothing on hand to prepare. However, the resourceful sisters pulled together some leftovers. The bishop loved the intense sauce of chocolate and chilies served over an old turkey.
It’s said that the original recipe for Mole Poblano contained over a hundred different ingredients. Today it usually consists of dried ancho, pasilla chilies, , tomatoes, raisins, unsweetened chocolate, almonds, sesame seeds, clove, cinnamon, pepper, parsley, onion, garlic, and tortillas.
Of course, you don’t have time to gather and slowly cook all these different ingredients. After testing several mole short cuts (and even making it from scratch to be sure), we’ve discovered an easy mix from Urban Accents, which is in our January box shipping this week, that makes it possible for anyone to enjoy this complex and rich sauce at home… without a team of Puebla nuns on hand in the kitchen!
While putting together this box we enjoyed thinking not just about how to showcase two unique ways to use chocolate, but also how to appreciate some key techniques of Mexican cooking. We do this by using soffritto as a base for rice and by adding tortillas in a flavorful soup.