Monday, October 29, 2007

Sample recipe from Mexican Cooking: Pork and chicken in mole verde

Mole verde: (green sauce)
1 can (300 g) tomatillos
5 large, fresh chili peppers (Anaheim or poblano)
60 g chopped onions
6 corn tortillas, torn into small pieces
1-4 cloves garlic
100 g spinach, fresh or frozen (can be left out)
750 ml chicken bouillon

To peel the chillies, roast them until the skin is black all over (over hot coals, under the grill, or dry-sautéed in a pan). Remove from the heat and put immediately into a plastic bag, close the bag and leave the chillies for 20 minutes. The condensation will loosen the skin. Peel the chillies and remove seeds, stems and pith and chop them coarsely.

Drain the tomatillos. Put tomatillos and all the other ingredients, except the bouillon, in a blender and purée. Stir the purée into the bouillon, bring to the boil and simmer for about 1 hour. Adjust taste with spices and add more bouillon if the sauce is too thick. (It would be nice to know just exactly how thick the sauce should be, but the recipe doesn’t say).

Pork and chicken in mole verde:
4-6 servings.

1 1/2 kg lean pork
1 kg chicken thighs
Mole verde sauce

If using boneless pork, cut into cubes, about 5 cm square. The recipe recommends using rib roast, in which case divide into chunks of single ribs with meat.

Cook the meat (presumably this means in water, although the recipe doesn’t say), until it is really tender, from 1 to 2 hours. If using rib roast, the meat should be about to slide off the bones. Drain and brown quickly in hot oil (a purely cosmetic step, according to the author). Put the meat in a casserole dish and pour mole verde over it. Bake at about 100°C for 1 hour or more as needed. The meat should be heated through but the sauce must not burn.

There is no suggestion as to what to serve with this dish, but I think it would make a nutritionally balanced meal if served with rice and a fresh salad (perhaps with avocado to give it a Mexican spin).

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