On the first day of summer, I wrote about this multi-day, multi-blogger celebration of all guacamole: #GuacSquad12. Well, it's arrived. The event is finally here.
We've timed this guacamole celebration to coincide with the release of the Guac-Lock™ by Casabella. At the beginning of the month, I shared the amazing giveaway we have with items from our generous sponsors: enter here! You can win a Guac-Lock™ of your own.
Today, I'm kicking off the #GuacSquad12 event with a recipe that is the antithesis of quick and easy guac. And that's because I have swirled a quick and easy guac with a homemade mole that takes about three hours to make and another twenty-four hours for the flavors to fully develop.
This recipe was inspired by a mole-making class I attended last month. Here I am, with one of my best friends, in our breath-taking hairnets which were required in the commercial kitchen. You can read the piece I wrote for Edible Monterey Bay about Unlocking the Mysteries of Mole.
Before the class, I really had no idea what mole was. I mean, I had heard of it, but nothing definitive came to mind when I read it on a menu. Mole. Apparently, it just means sauce - a sauce made with chiles.
The version we learned was a mole negro from the Oaxaca region in Mexico. Its distinctive flavor comes from the twenty-five ingredients and the charring. You achieve a layer of smokiness by blistering the peppers over an open flame and burning the pepper seeds in lard.
- 6 to 8 T lard (preferably home-rendered)
- 2 to 4 C homemade chicken stock
- 4 oz dried ancho chiles
- 4 oz dried pasilla chiles
- 2 T pecans
- 2 T peanuts
- 2 T almonds
- 1 T sesame seeds
- 1/8 C dried apricots
- 1/8 C dried prunes
- 1/8 C raisins
- sherry (enough to cover the dried fruits)
- 1 large or 2 medium onions
- 4 unpeeled garlic cloves
- 1 large ripe tomato
- 8 oz tomatillos, with husks
- 1 plantain
- 1" cinnamon stick
- 1/2 t black peppercorns
- 2 cloves
- 1 t dried oregano
- 18 g chocolate (1/2 of an Abuelita chocolate tablet or other)
- salt to taste
- 2 ripe avocados* (thank you, Melissa's Produce)
- 1 t cilantro paste or 1 T fresh cilantro* (thank you, Gourmet Garden)
- 1 t chunky garlic paste or 1 T fresh garlic*(thank you, Gourmet Garden)
- 1 t ground cumin
- juice from 1 organic lemon
- 1 t olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- plantain chips
- fresh cilantro for garnish
Bring your chicken stock to a boil, then hold it at a simmer. Slice your dried peppers lengthwise. Open them up and take out the seeds and the veins. Set the seeds aside. You can discard the stems and veins.
Cut the apricots and plums to the size of the raisins and place them in a medium bowl. Pour sherry over the top of them until they are submerged, approximately 1/2 C. Set aside.
Melt 1 T large in the skillet and toast the spices. I started with the cinnamon sticks and clove and ended with the oregano. Once toasted, place them in the bowl with the peppers, nuts, and seeds.
Melt 1 T lard in the same skillet and char the seeds from the peppers. You want these really, really burnt. Place the seeds in a large mason jar filled with ice water. Let stand for 30 minutes. Change the water and ice and let stand for another 30 minutes.
Cut onion, tomato, and tomatillo into large chunks, Crush and mince the garlic. Melt 2 T lard in your skillet and cook onion, garlic, tomato, and tomatillo until everything is softened and the onion turning translucent. Place the chocolate in the mixture and cook until the chocolate is melted. Stir well to combine.
Combine all of the ingredients into one large bowl - the peppers, the sherry-soaked fruit, the chocolate-tomato mixture, and the charred pepper seeds. Now you are ready to combine all of the elements and purée all the ingredients, using either a blender and food processor combination or a blender by itself. In batches, purée everything until smooth.
When you're ready to serve, place all of the guacamole ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mash with a fork until you get the consistency that you prefer. Some people like a more chunky guacamole; others prefer it more smooth. Spoon your guacamole into a serving bowl.
Swirl mole into the top of your guacamole. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve with plantain chips. Enjoy!