Saturday, December 28, 2013

In Honor of National Chocolate Day, Try Some Mole

Today, December 28, is national chocolate day. That is great for chocoholics everywhere. But what if you don't have a sweet tooth? Well, there is at least one way that I know of to enjoy chocolate on this day that is not sweet. I'm talking about mole. Mole is a traditional Mexican savory sauce that can be used with just about anything. Mole, like Mexican cuisine itself, has a considerable number of variations dependent on region, custom, family tradition, even an individual cook's style. The most "typical" mole people think of is a thick rich dark brown to brick red concoction made of dried chiles, peanuts, other spices, and unsweetened chocolate.

To make truly authentic Mexican mole is a long arduous process involving multiple steps as well as a plethora of ingredients. For this reason mole sauce bases are the easiest way to prepare it. Even in Mexico it is not uncommon to use a premade base. However, those are usually available at the local market and usually prepared by the person selling it. Here in the US, there are many brands you can find at your local supermarket. El Mexicano, Doña Maria, and La Costeña come to mind. They are typically concentrated so you will have to add liquid to it.

If you are willing to and brave enough, you can always try making your own. The internet is filled with recipes for all levels of cooking acumen. In fact, here are some good ones:

Authentic Mole Recipe

Quick Chicken Mole Recipe

Mole Sauce Recipe

Rick Bayless Red Mole Sauce

So there you have it. Mole sauce works well on everything from chicken to shrimp to even eggs. On this national day of chocolate go out and enjoy some chocolate, even without a sweet tooth.

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