It would be wrong to focus on Oaxaca and not at least try to make a mole, since it’s the land of moles. Mole negro, mole verde, mole amarillo, a rainbow of moles!
My grandmother-in-law is from Oaxaca, and I’ve been lucky enough to have had mole that she’s made the traditional way, so I must confess that I was a little hesitant to even try it myself, since all efforts would pale in comparison. Luckily for me, fellow Food Explorer Leah took the time and many (many) steps to make mole with chicken for dinner. She then gave me her leftover mole sauce, and I did the natural thing to do with leftover mole sauce – enchiladas de mole. And I must say, and my husband agreed, that it was actually pretty authentic tasting!
A rich, complex mole like the one we had can be garnished with a sprinkling of sesame seeds, one of the many ingredients in the dish, and enchiladas are of course perfectly paired with cream, queso fresco, and some sliced raw onion for bite.
This was a good effort, and a good week all around.
In this post, I make a multi-dish meal that takes less time to cook than an episode of Good Eats. Follow the jump for the techniques I use to get dinner on the table in record time.
Antojitos are made all over Mexico. Little dishes made from masa. There are sopes, picaditas, memelas, gorditas, tlacoyos, huaraches, and many other names for what is basically just corn dough made into different shapes. They can be fried or cooked on the griddle. They can be stuffed or plain. They are patted and pinched, flattened or round. However you make them, they’re universally tasty. Since we’re focusing on Oaxaca this week, we decided to try our hand at molotes, a regional name and regional shape for a masa-based snack. Molotes are torpedo-shaped, and traditionally stuffed. A typical stuffing could be chorizo and potatoes. We used what we had on hand – beans that we refried. We flattened the masa, filled each one with beans, re-rolled it, shaped it, and then into the frying pan. Once golden brown, we then split them and topped them with salsa, cream, cheese, lettuce, and radishes. Crunchy, creamy, salty, spicy, a little bit of everything rolled into a neat package. It was a fairly laborious process, but fun, and our kids got involved in the rolling and pressing of the masa dough. Read on for some links and a cute video we posted of the whole process from start to finish!
If tortilla chips ever went stale in my household (they don’t), I’d know what to do with them: make chilaquiles! Mexico’s answer to pain perdu, panzanella, bread pudding and fattoush, chilaquiles is a waste-not-want-not meal, utilizing stale and leftover ingredients to fantastic effect. Cheap, simple, and easy to prepare, I’m willing to bet many of you have the ingredients for chilaquiles already. While typically served with grilled meat and refried beans, there are really only three key ingredients: tortilla chips, salsa verde or roja, and Oaxaca cheese, which can be substituted with fresh mozzarella. And really, could anything be better at banishing the cold on a cold winter’s night? We’ll let you be the judge, but I already know the answer.
Not sure if this is authentic or even from Oaxaca but it’s a great breakfast. We tried out our new tortilla press and learned that we need some practice. Black beans, fried egg, queso fresco, and fresh salsa on a tortilla is all it is.
Click through for a recipe.
A Mexican version of pizza! Tlayuda is a popular late night snack and originates in Oaxaca itself. It’s a tortilla loaded with Oaxaca cheese, which is like string cheese, black bean, veggies, and/or meat, that’s baked in a hot oven (or traditionally on a comal) until it gets melty and bubbly.
Click through for some recipes