Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Risotto with Molé Verde

July 11

Risotto with Molé Verde

OK – well, I have a million ideas related to chocolate, but that’s not what’s flowing right now. But traditional molé has unsweetened chocolate in it, right? So I’m going with the position that this entry is not disqualified.

This recipe was an accident, really. It started with a cooking magazine – I swear it was just three days ago and now I can’t find the magazine or remember which one it was – which inspired my need for a snack of quesadillas with roasted Anaheim chiles. Then, in a southwestern mood, there was a request for the mole verde to be used as a side with grilled beef porterhouse steak. Everything for the mole is fresh right now, and it’s been a long time since a trip to Santa Fe or since I have made tamales or anything that we’d normally eat the molé verde with, so it sounded really good. But we needed to run out for virtually every ingredient – oh well. . . .

This particular recipe is based on one from the Coyote Café Cookbook – it is fabulous, though admittedly a lot of work. But the flavor alone is worth it, and the quantity it produces allows you to have a big-ish dinner party or to freeze some of it for another meal or two.

After making the molé, it seemed like it needed rice to go with it, because rice really carries the sauce better than any other starch. So, why make ordinary rice when risotto is so good? Then, it was a fairly short leap to stirring in sour cream at the end instead of heavy cream, and topping it with a fresh pecorino-like cheese (goat milk) from the Bainbridge Island dairy that makes chevre, and with a huge handful of halved grape tomatoes on top. Stir the molé into the risotto right after the sour cream . . . . omg – I had it for breakfast today!

Mole Verde

9 tomatillos – husked and washed in hot water
6 fresh poblano (pasilla) chiles – roasted, seeded and peeled
2 cups romaine leaves – no ribs
½ cup cilantro leaves
1 ½ - 2 cups rich chicken stock
½ t. cumim powder
1 t. coriander seeds and ¼ t. anise seeds – ground in a mortar and pestle
1 small corn tortilla OR 6-8 corn tortilla chips

2 T olive oil or canola oil or duck fat

Preheat the broiler, or heat up a large cast iron skillet. Broil the tomatillos on a foil-lined cookie sheet, turning once, (or dry roast in the skillet) until lightly charred on both sides. Let cool and then place in the container of a food processor. Add the chiles, the romaine, the cilantro and the chicken stock and process until fine. Add the spices, then add the corn tortilla or corn chips and process again until fine. You may need to do this in batches until everything is combined.

Heat the oil or the duck fat in a large cast iron skillet until nearly smoking – add the molé and fry it, stirring, for 3-5 minutes. Then put it through a fine sieve in batches, stirring and pressing hard to make sure enough solids come through to make the texture of the sauce slightly thick – kind of the consistency of a regular tomato sauce.

The sauce should be used slightly warm or at room temperature, not hot. It is fabulous with tamales, roasted chicken, etc.

For the risotto I just used about 1 ¼ cups Arborio rice sautéed with some butter and olive oil, 4 oz. white wine and 4 cups of chicken stock. Then at the end I stirred in about ¼ cup of sour cream, took it off the heat and then added about a cup of the mole. Sprinkle on the grated cheese and the tomatoes when each individual serving is plated up.

1 comment:

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