Last night a friend and I got chatting about the wonders of marketplace food when traveling across the globe. After she left, I was inspired to create a quick mole reminiscent of my long lost adventures across the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico.
Usually a mole (meaning sauce) is quite the production. I threw this one together in about twenty minutes and boy oh boy it was yum. There’s something ridiculously simple in the delights of creating a whole new world of flavour – this is exactly what this recipe does. There are some unusual ingredients in here, the sort of items you need to keep hidden away until the moment comes to summon them to the pot!
A 400g can of tomatillos, drained (found in pokey food stores in Petersham, Sydney – keep your eye out for a can in your neighbourhood).
A little olive oil
1 dried ancho chilli
1 dried pasilla chilli
1 small brown onion, peeled and cut into chunks
3 peeled garlic cloves
1 small avocado leaf (we have a crazy avocado tree threatening to take over our little garden)
1 tspn ground cinnamon
2 tbspns apple cider vinegar
Prawns, fish or whatever takes your fancy
Lime wedges & coriander to serve
Wearing gloves, de-seed your chillis and soak them in hot water for five minutes. Dry fry your onion and garlic on medium heat until they begin to look a little charred. Add the olive oil, then the chillis and avocado leaf, turning them so they cook for a minute each side. Now add your tomatillos, cinnamon and vinegar and stir for a good five minutes. Throw the lot into a blender, add 1/2 cup of water and puree (add more water if needed, it should be a smooth thick soupy consistency). Pop your sauce (mole) back into the pan and add your prawns, or whatever takes your fancy (I like a mixture of prawns and sustainably caught fish best). Turn the heat right down and let it cook through for a few more minutes with the lid on.
Serve on rice with salad – a touch of coriander (cilantro) and lime is the mmmagical must.
Tip – You can buy these chillis online. Try Herbie’s Spices if you live in Australia :-).