Morita Mole

Few people seem to know that we are engaged in a secret war.  A war against hot sheet pans.  I took the bullet on this one for you.

You’re welcome.

I know what you’re saying.  Isn’t it just you that’s in a war with hot sheet pans?

You think that hot sheet pan wouldn’t have completely-out-of-nowhere launched itself at you had you been in same position?

You need me on that wall!

Anyway, I’m not sure why I keep displaying my kitchen scars to you.  What are you going to say? “Wow, way to get hurt, lady.  You sure can battle inanimate objects like a champ.”  How would that be helpful?  I guess I’m just looking for your pity.  And some advice as to what to do when people think I ritually branded the lesbian symbol into my arm.

No, Bourbon. The ladies have better sense than to hitch their wagon to this crazy star. Also, I’m not your mom.

I do feel like a dog “mom” sometimes, but I prefer the term “guardian”.  I’m not willing to cross over into mom territory. I mean, I don’t care what anyone says, I am not sending them to college.  Degrees just aren’t worth what they used to be.  They can get a job, learn a trade, decide from there.  We’re working on housecleaning professional.  And by working on, I mean I let them lick the finished dinner plates sometimes and also strap little sponges to their paws and order them to walk around the kitchen.  Ok, I only do one of those things.

So, chicken!  What in the hell to do with it.

Here’s one option –

Morita Mole

Morita chile paste
1 small onion, small dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of lard (or bacon fat, or veg oil, or whatever)
1 can of whole peeled tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
tablespoon of crema (optional)

Remember all those morita chiles you had leftover from making oxtail soup?

Ok, let’s make a paste out of those.

Normally I would toast the chiles first, but these already have such a nice smoky flavor I didn’t bother.  Just cut them open and get out the seeds.

Chuck them in some boiling water, turn off the heat, and let them soak for 15 minutes.

While that is happening, chop some onions and garlic, the base of all good things, and preheat a pan to low.

Add fat to pan.  Add onions and a pinch of salt.  Sweat onions for a couple minutes and then add garlic for 30 seconds to open up the flavor.  Add tomatoes with juice, crushing with a spatula or with your fingers as you add them.

Don’t worry too much about them, you’re going to blend them anyway. Add another pinch of salt. Simmer.

While it’s simmering, put chiles in blender

and add a little of the water you boiled them in. Puree until smooth.

How many chiles you ask? At least six. But you can do more if you’d like to keep the paste around for other reasons. Spice up some guacamole, maybe?

Once the sauce has simmered for five minutes, add some of the puree to taste and another pinch of salt.   Taste for seasoning. Transfer to the blender you didn’t bother to clean out because you knew you were going to blend the sauce and puree until smooth.

Return to pan.

Now you could add whatever cooked meat you like to this sauce – pork, beef, goat.  I had chicken laying around, so I shredded that and put it into the sauce with a tablespoon of crema to smooth the heat of the chiles.

Stir and let simmer another couple of minutes.  Turn off heat and walk away for five minutes to get the flavors to infuse into the meat.  The pan will keep everything warm.

You could eat this just as a stew or on some rice, but I chose to sprinkle it with queso fresco and then eat it on tortillas with cilantro.