Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Holy Mole Pork Stew #FoodieExtravaganza


Welcome to the Foodie Extravaganza! 
v. October 2016 = Chocolate

Foodie Extravaganza is where we celebrate obscure food holidays or cook and bake together with the same ingredient or theme each month. This month we celebrate chocolate.

This month, it's all about chocolate which means you can see additional delicious and chocolate creations in this post. Hooray! Thanks to Kathleen of Fearlessly Creative Mammas for hosting this event. She encouraged us: "Chocolate - The most perfect food (according to me). What do you do with chocolate. Create any recipe with chocolate in it OR a recipe for chocolate. Any kind of chocolate is fine, milk, dark or white."

Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you're a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.


About My Chocolate Obsession...
Before I get to my recipe, I wanted to share a little about my chocolate obsession. It's funny for me to think that fifteen years ago, I didn't eat chocolate. One of my best friends from high school was floored when she saw me eat chocolate for the first time. In all the years she'd known me, I couldn't stand chocolate. But, as soon as I got pregnant with R, I began to enjoy it. Really enjoy it. 

Now, we've done chocolate tastings at boutique chocolatiers all over California's central coast; we've participated in chocolate walking tours (read about our Chocolate Walking Tour in San Francisco); I've taught an entire class about chocolate; and we've even curated our own chocolate pairings for dinner parties.


At a chocolate tastings at Alegio in Palo Alto, D really wanted to take one of the cacao pods home. I offered to buy it. No dice. "They're just for our display. They're not for sale," they apologized.


Then, last December, we visited Dandelion Chocolate in the Mission District in San Francisco and D spotted pods. For sale. "Mom," he gushed, "I want to use some of my birthday money to buy a pod!" That's a strange purchase for a 12-year-old, don't you think? But it's not strange considering he's my 12-year-old. He painstakingly went through the entire basket of cacao pods, shook them all, and finally made his selection.

All the Other Chocolate Creations...
Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE. Now, check out these great chocolate submissions!


Going Savory...
I love using chocolate in savories. One of the most interesting savories I've made: Chocolate Calamari Soup. Even my sweets are decidedly savory - such as my Black Garlic Chocolate Cake or my Black Tahini Chocolate Bundt.

Inspired by a recent a recent mole making class, I decided to make a mole-inspired soup with blackened peppers, onions, tomatoes, and some chocolate! I folded in some braised pork and cooked white beans.

Note: this stew is not a meal for when you're in a hurry. The mole can be done the day before and the pork needs to braise for two hours. So, if you want it for dinner, start just after lunch! It's holy mole tasty!!

Holy Mole Pork Stew

Ingredients
Mole makes 5 to 6 C of mole so you'll have lots and lots of leftovers for other dishes, including this stew
  • 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
Stew
  • 1 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1 to 2" cubes
  • 1 organic onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • 1 t ground paprika
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 to 3 C mole
  • 4 to 6 C chicken stock
  • 2 C cooked white beans
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper


Procedure
Mole
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.


With tongs, hold peppers over an open flame until they blister and turn a lighter shade of brown. Place them in a large bowl and pour hot stock over the top. Every 10 to 15 minutes, turn the peppers or press them down so that they are submerged.


Melt 1 T lard in a skillet and toast the nuts. I started with the almonds, added the pecans, then added the peanuts. When they are all golden brown, approximately 5 to 7 minutes, place them in the bowl with the peppers. Toast the sesame seeds until they begin to pop. Place those in the bowl with the peppers, too.

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. 


Melt 1 T large in the same skillet and fry thick slices of plantain until crisped and golden. Place those in the bowl with the peppers.


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.


In a large, heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the remaining lard over high heat until rippling. Add the purée, all at once, taking care to avoid splatters. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook, stirring frequently, for at least 30 minutes until the taste of the chiles has mellowed. Season to taste with salt. Set aside. The flavors will deepen and develop the longer you let the mole sit. I left mine to age for two days - in the fridge - before using.


Stew
In a large mixing bowl, massage the spices into the pork and stir in diced onions. Let stand for at least 15 minutes.

In a large souppot, melt butter in olive oil. Cook the pork-onion mixture until nicely browned. Pour in 2 to 3 C stock. Bring the liquid to a boil. Then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Let braise for 1-1/2 to 2 hours. The pork should be tender.

Add the remaining stock. Stir in the mole and cooked beans. Simmer until evenly heated. Adjust seasoning - salt and pepper - as needed.

9 comments:

  1. I wish I was your neighbour Camilla. So want to taste this right now! Delicious and love the additions!

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  2. Holy mole is right!! I would so love a dish of this right now.

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  3. This looks amazing!I love that you used the pepper seeds- I have never seen them browned-up and used the way you did this!

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  4. Oh my goodness... that dish is just absolutely incredible. So many flavors!!!

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  5. This looks incredible! Such a wonderful combination of flavors. I have two chocolate haters in my house (son and husband), but I think even they would like this. All those tastings and tours sound wonderful! I definitely need to find things like that in my area.

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  6. Good thing your pregnancy brought out the chocoholic in you! This mole sounds so flavorful.

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  7. Oh I love the spices in this!! Great recipe!! Yum!

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  8. Flavorful and delicious mole, wish I could taste it.

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  9. This sounds yummy. I'm glad you like chocolate now because life without chocolate is so sad. The cocoa trees grow here where I live. I want to go out and find some and pick my own pods. I love that your son wanted to buy some.

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