Over at Los Angeles' HomeGirl Café - where gang members, drug addicts and ex-cons are given the opportunity to enrich and change their lives in drastic and delicious ways - we were lucky enough to get our hands on a serious tried-and-true recipe for the Mexican sauce, mole, from Chef Pati Zarate. We know it's a lot of ingredients, but when you get this mole down, you will have arrived at culinary greatness.
1 cup canola oil
8 chiles anchos, cleaned and seeds removed
4 chiles nuevo Mexico, cleaned and seeds removed
8 chiles mulatos, cleaned and seeds removed
8 chiles negros, cleaned and seeds removed
4 chiles guajillo, cleaned and seeds removed
4 chiles California, cleaned and seeds removed
2 chiles chipotle, cleaned and seeds removed
2 corn tortillas, cut in fourths
1 bolillo, sliced (French roll)
4 tomatoes, cut in cubes
1 onion, chopped
1 bunch cilantro roughly chopped including stems
6 tomatillos, husk removed
3 ounces ginger, peeled and cut in pieces
1 ripe banana, peeled
1 apple, cut into pieces
12 cloves of garlic
8 ounces raisins
8 ounces prunes, pitted
8 ounces almonds whole
8 ounces peanuts whole
8 ounces pecans whole
8 ounces pumpkin seeds whole
2 ounces sesame seeds
1 stick cinnamon (Mexican, ceilan or true cinnamon)
1 tablespoon black pepper corns
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon oregano
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoom allspice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablet Mexican chocolate
2 tablespoons sugar
Salt to taste
2 gallons water
In a large-sized skillet heat enough oil to cover the bottom. Working in small batches, fry dry chiles until brittle; transfer to a large bowl or container, cover with water. Fry tortillas and bolillo until light golden in color. Soak with chiles.
Add more oil to skillet as needed. Add tomatoes, onions, cilantro, tomatillos, ginger, banana, garlic cloves, raisins and prunes, cook until soft. Transfer to soaking ingredients.
Add more oil to skillet as needed. Add almonds, peanuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and cook until light golden brown, about 5 minutes stirring constantly. Add to soaking ingredients.
Add more oil to skillet if needed. Add cinnamon stick, black pepper corns, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, oregano and bay leaves to skillet. Cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add to rest of soaking ingredients.
Mix all ingredients well. Working in small batches, blend all soaking ingredients into a fine sauce until smooth. In a large pot, bring sauce to boil, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes.
Add chocolate, vegetable broth, sugar and salt to taste, simmer for 5 more minutes.
Serve on top of chicken with Mexican rice and salad.