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Nut/Spice Grinder (the larger, the better)
Cazuela or a large sauté pan
Comal or a griddle
6 ancho chiles
3 pastilla chiles
3 garlic cloves
1 small onion
5 plum tomatoes
4 Tablespoons peanuts
4 Tablespoons pecans
5 Tablespoons raisins
3 corn tortillas
½ roll (small hero size)
1 large or 2 small, very ripe Plantains
2 Tablespoons chile seeds (optional)
8 block pepper corns
1 stick cinnamon (Mexican, if possible)
½ Teaspoon cumin
½ Teaspoon anise
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
a 3.3-ounce tablet Mexican chocolate (such as Ibarra)
4 to 5 Tablespoons pork lard or vegetable oil
5 to 6 cups chicken broth
Salt to taste
Sauté the almonds, peanuts, pecans in the lard or vegetable oil, remove and set aside. Sauté the raisins in the lard, remove and set aside.
In a dry small skillet over low heat, toast the chile seeds, peppercorns, cinnamon, and cloves. Remove and set aside. Remove skillet from the heat and toast the cumin, anise and sesame seeds. Remove and set aside.
Grind the cumin, anise, and chile seeds until powder. Set aside. Grind all the nuts, separately but in any order, and reserve. Grind the raisins and reserve.
Boil approximately 2 cups of water. Remove from the heat. Clean the chiles with a brush and toast on a griddle for a few minutes. They should just start to smell smoky. Soak the chiles in the boiled water, removed from the heat and covered, soak for approximately 25 to 30 minutes.
On a comal or griddle, roast the garlic, onion and tomatoes until soft. Set aside.
Place lard or vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium heat, sauté the plantains until golden. Remove and set aside. Sauté the bread in the same skillet until golden, remove and set aside.
Combine vegetables (garlic, onion, tomatoes) and the plantains with 1 ½ cups chicken in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain the vegetables. Heat remaining lard in a cazuela or sauté pan over low heat, add blended ingredients. Salt to taste.
By this time, the chiles should be soft. Remove the stems, seeds and veins from the chiles. Put chiles, including the chile water, in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain the chiles and then add to the vegetables in the cazuela.
Grind the bread and tortillas until a paste, and then add to the cazuela.
Add 2 cups chicken stock to the cazuela.
Add 1 cup chicken stock to the ground nuts, whisk to dissolve. Add to the cazuela, along with 2 cups chicken stock.
Add the chocolate to the cazuela.
Cook, and stir continuously, for approximately 1 ½ to 2 hours. Add stock and salt as needed.
The taste of the mole will change as it is stirred. The mole will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week and in the freezer for 6 months.
If you’re in San Miguel de Allende and would like to take a mole class from Maria, you can contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit Maria’s website (http://www.traditionalmexicancooking.com.mx) for class information and registration.