I promised you this post some time ago, and here it finally is: another great cooking class experience at the Astor Center, this one led by Chef Ori, and all about the making of molé.
If you think of molé at all -- do you? -- you probably think of the long-simmered dark brown one, with chiles and chocolate. We made that.
But we also made a lot more. Check out this spread!
With dried chiles and fresh ones, with tomatillos and pumpkin seeds and almonds and tomatoes and...
tiny little shrimp. Yes. Tiny little shrimp. And avocados. And olives. And more. And those were just the molés -- you can see also in the buffet photo that we made sopes, little circles of masa with a lip on them like so:
(Not shown: Jael's achy, reddened fingertips, from rushing too much through the two frying steps -- you mix up the masa with water, then fry them lightly in very little oil to get the brown spots and cook through the rawness, then while they're still warm, you press them down and pinch the edges to make that rim, and then you fry them again.)
(Between the first fry and the second you're supposed to let them cool just a little. Do that. It makes a difference.)
The dishes we made were sweet and sharp, creamy and cool, nutty and smooth -- all things. And they went surprisingly well with wine.
Like the lobster class, this was a class that gave me the confidence to try the recipes again at home sometime, and then from there, try some new things.
(Full warning to anyone coming over for dinner in the next six months, whether or not it technically "belongs" on the menu, whether or not we discuss it, you may very well be seeing a molé.)