There are many different stories on the internet about the origins of mole. Most of them are very wrong. Puebla natives living in Mexico had been using the mole mortar and pestle technique for a long time, before the Spaniards landed in Mexico.
Mexican tribal civilizations had an extensive trading system with neighboring tribes. Many cooking ingredients were traded with distant tribes. Some food historians say that only the Mayans had chocolate. Chocolate was used as barter and trade just like anything else! Chocolate made its way into Aztec cuisine too. Never mind the fairy tales about how mole was invented by a Spaniard. Mole was invented by Mexican natives long before the Spaniards arrived.
Mole pastes have a very wide variety of flavors and ingredients. All moles have chiles as an ingredient. Some moles are very spicy and some are very mild and savory.
More time goes into making a traditional mole paste than practically any other recipe in the world. It can take 2 days of stone mortar and pestle grinding by hand to make a single batch of mole. Puebla natives take great pride in their hand crafted mole.
Some of the Aztec mole recipes included dried morel mushrooms, dried chocolate, pine nuts, calabaza seed, dried chiles, a host of herbs, medicinal seeds and medicinal plants. Medicinal morning glory seeds and Ololiuqui seeds were used in Aztec moles too. If you read about the medicinal seed Ololiuqui, you will find many interesting stories.
Modern mole uses the same traditional mortar and pestle grinding technique, but the physical labor is done by a machine. If you make mole at home using most internet recipes, you will end up with a puree, rather than a very thick hard paste. If a true mole was made with a food processor or blender, the appliance motor would overheat and burn out! That is how thick and dense that a true mole is. A meat grinder with a fine grind attachment will only produce a mole that looks like an Italian pesto. Mole paste is a much finer grind than Italian pesto Genovese. A special grinding machine is required to make a mole the modern way.
Mole is so dense, that it looks like a solid dried mass. Mole are also dried as a crumbled or powdered form in Mexico. Only the oils from the nuts and seeds keep a mole from completely drying out.
Basically, whatever color the dried chiles are, will be the basic color of the mole. For green mole, fresh mild green poblano chile peppers and tomatillos are part of the mixture. Green herbs and lightly toasted green calabaza seeds add to the green color. A green mole usually has a very mellow savory flavor. The flavor of green mole is perfect for chicken, turkey, pork and fish.
Water or chicken stock is heated in a pan over low heat and a small portion of green mole is added while stirring. A small amount of green mole will easily thicken the liquid in the pan to a medium thick consistency. The green mole sauce may look thick, but the texture is unforgettably light! The flavor of a green mole is rich with the flavor of nuts and seeds.
Chuleta De Cerdo Mole Verde Ahogado:
Chose a good quality pre-made traditional green mole at a Mexican Market! Mexican markets stock great hand crafted mole paste as well as national brands. A home cook or a professional cook cannot make better mole than pre-made. The quality is that good, especially with hand crafted Mexican mole varieties.
Heat a saute pan over medium heat.
Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil or lard.
Season a 6 ounce pork chop with sea salt and black pepper.
Pan sear the pork chop on both sides, till it becomes halfway cooked.
Remove the pork chop from the pan and set it aside.
Heat a small saute pan over medium low/low heat.
Add 2 1/2 cups of water. (Broth is not necessary!)
Add 2 tablespoons of green mole paste.
Stir the green mole, till it becomes blended and the sauce thickens.
Note: It can take 5 minutes for mole paste to thicken the water. If the sauce is not thick enough, then add a little bit more mole paste, till it thickens to a medium thick sauce consistency. It is better to start with a mole sauce that is too thin, rather than too thick, or you may end up diluting the sauce, till there is over a gallon of sauce!
Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
Place the seared pork chop in the green mole sauce.
Note: The mole sauce should not even be bubbling or show the slightest sign of boiling. Slow simmering the pork chop in the mole sauce will cause the pork chop to become moist and very tender.
When the pork chop become fully cooked and tender, then it is ready to serve.
Place the pork chop in a shallow casserole dish.
Smother the pork chop with the mole sauce. (Ahogado translates to smothered!)
Set the pork chop casserole dish on a serving plate.
Garnish the green mole pork chop with a cilantro sprig.
Serve with some Mexican style corn and a couple of steamed corn tortillas.
Cut 1 cup of fresh corn kernels off of the cob.
Place the corn in a sauce pot.
Add 2 tablespoons of each of these diced vegetables:
- green bell pepper
- roasted poblano pepper
Add sea salt and black pepper.
Add 3 pinches of ancho chile powder.
Add 2 pinches of ground anatto.
Add 1 pinch of cumin.
Add 2 pinches of coriander.
Cover the corn with water.
Add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.
Place the pot over medium high heat.
Bring the liquid to a boil.
Reduce the temperature to low heat.
Simmer the Mexican corn, till the vegetables become tender.
Keep the Mexican style corn warm over very low heat.
This is classic Mexican cooking! The flavor of the green mole is incredibly good. The rich calabaza seed flavors really are perfect with the poblano chile and tomatillo flavors.
There is no way that I will sit and grind a mole paste by hand for a couple of days when I am working full time! A good pre-made mole paste is better than any internet recipe that is made with a food processorI used a pre made mole verde that came in a jar. I purchased the mole verde at a big Mexican market. There must have been 20 different brands of traditional mole! There was about 10 different flavors and colors of mole to select from.
The small Mexican manufacturer brands of mole seemed to be the most appealing. National brands of mole that are stocked in regular grocery stores are very good products too. I noticed that some of the smaller name Mexican brands of mole seemed to have additive free ingredients. Pre-made mole is a real time saver and the quality of the product is superb. A good mole paste needs no extra ingredients!
Yum! ... Shawna