Elsa and I were in the kitchen together last night. It is wonderful to have her and Eric with us in the house. Each day, they get up in the morning, drop me off at my office, and take my car out to the destination of the day …. usually to the mall, or Target (tienda favorita), or TJ Maxx or Marshall’s. There is no Target in Oaxaca and it is a mesmerizing experience. For them, these outings are like my yearnings to search out San Martin Tilcajete or Santa Maria Atzompa on a quest for the perfect piece of pottery or alebrije. Clothing, electronics, and daily essentials are less expensive in the U.S. and discount shopping for my Oaxacan friends becomes a cultural adventure. Last night, they take a respite from eating cheese burgers and fries to helping me make Mole Coloradito. Here’s how it goes.
I have a jar of ground chile chocolate paste in my refrigerator that I brought back from Oaxaca six months ago — a purchase I made at Mayordomo on Calle 20 de Noviembre, south of the Zocalo — and keep in a glass canning jar, tightly covered. It is a standard mix of almonds, Oaxacan chocolate (spiced with cinnamon) and pasilla peppers. (If you want or need to make your own paste, consult the Food Network for a scratch recipe.) You may be able to find a jar of the paste in a Mexican food store, too. So, here is what you will need.
For the Mole Sauce — This Has a Big Bite Flavor:
16 oz. — mole colorado paste (this is a very thick mixture that has the consistency of almond paste)
2 or more cups of beef broth
1 – 12-oz. jar of Paul Newman Tequila Lime Salsa
In a blender, add the mole paste, the beef broth and the jar of salsa. Pulse until smooth. The consistency should be like heavy cream. That’s It. Muy Delicioso!
For the Carne (beef):
1-1/2 to 2 lbs. good quality beef stew meat, cut into 1″ cubes
3 T. fresh parsley, chopped
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves of garlic, peeled, left whole
3 dried pasilla chiles, seeded and chopped
2 c. water
salt to season
In the morning, before you go to work or go off for the day, put all ingredients into a crock pot, stir, cover, and set on highest temperature. When you return at 6 or 7 p.m., the meat will be perfectly cooked. Use the liquid beef stock from the crock pot to make your mole sauce.
For the Arroz (rice):
2 cups of regular white rice
4 cups of water
salt to taste
Combine the rice, water and salt in a 4 quart sauce pan. Bring to the rolling boil. Cover. Turn heat down to low and continue to cook for 10 minutes at a low simmer. Turn the heat off. Let rice sit for 20 minutes as it continues to steam cook.
Oaxaquenos traditionally serve the Mole Colorado over the rice, and serve the meat next to this. Serve plenty of tortillas that have been warmed on the griddle (flour or corn). As accompaniments, serve with sauteed zucchini or crooked neck yellow squash and black beans.