The tale of two moles

I’ve never made mole before. Not really. I wanted to share these recipes with you so you’d have something to work with for Turkey’s Day After. It’s impossible to avoid having 100 lbs of leftover turkey and you can only eat so many sandwiches.

Let me try to describe the flavors of these dishes to you and do them justice. I’ll start by saying they’re similar in the complexity of flavors, at once surprising and familiar. Yet, they’re also  in perfect contrast to each other.

Red mole seemed to have an inherent nuttiness that reminded me of peanut butter and the slightly bitter sweetness of chocolate. There’s smokiness that makes you wonder if this is a sauce that was developed from an old roux. It is rich and spicy, not in term of heat but flavor. Yet, it doesn’t taste like 5 different spices, they’re not individually identifiable, but you can tell they’ve come together to bring out the best in each other.

On the other hand, the pipián sauce or green mole tasted light and vibrant, with a nice pungent bite. The lightness of it seeming to fight against the creaminess of the sauce. I’m not sure how to explain it, other than to say it tasted as though we were eating something rich and decadent, while knowing nothing heavy or rich was added.

I’m not going to lie and say these are easy recipes, but they were not too difficult either. Scratch that. They’re not difficult at all, what they are is involved. Lots of steps, which is why I cheated a bit. We have 2 versions of the traditional Mexican sauce: Turkey in Mole Rojo and Turkey in Pipián Verde (green mole).

These recipes come from Bayless’ cookbook, Mexico – One Plate At A Time, and you’ll notice there is at least one other post in the last few days that was inspired by the book. Check out the Green Beans & Carrots in Escabeche. They are incredibly delicious.

A couple of side notes:

  1. The website recipe is for a very large batch, it’s actually doubled the one in the book. I don’t think you’re feeding a small army, so I’m offering the book version. I had enough sauce to save about 4-6 cps for later use.
  2. Bayless calls for a whole boneless turkey breast (uncooked). Since I’m not a breast fan, I went with thighs and kept the bones in the mix.
  3. If you are making this with leftover turkey, simply add the cooked meat once the sauce has reduced.
  4. I have an old, kick-ass blender that can puree almost anything to a pulp. This is to say I skipped the straining part, you may need to strain it if your blender doesn’t do as well and/or if you have issues with tidbits of sesame seeds.
  5. Use an oven-safe pan or dutch oven. You will cook on the stove and finish it in the oven.

Are you ready for this? Check out the recipe posts, Turkey in Red Mole and Turkey in Pumpkin Seed Sauce.

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One thought on “The tale of two moles

  1. Anamaris: When do you find the time to make all of this. You have become Turkey loca. I wish I was your neighbor and my posts would be all about you.

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