This week has been hectic, I’ve recently started a new job and it was induction time in Darlington (a 4 1/2 drive for me), then to Solihull to help paint a ‘Children’s Hospice’ as part of a volunteer team from work, and then up to Macclesfield before home down south.
Luckily, I was able to include some excellent restaurants so if you like Indian, Rose Murree in Hagley Road Birmingham is worth a trip, and for excellent English fair, Bacchus in Prestbury is also worth a trip the weekday special being extremely good value money. Click on the names to see their web sites.
My inspiration was ‘Mole‘ Mexican for sauce. There are lots to choose from but I was going to attempt Mole Poblano, more often used for celebrations as its apparently quite time consuming to make, it was about time for me to find out. Having the chilli’s to hand the rest of the ingredients were assembled, and there are quite a few. Peanuts, Ground Almonds, Onions, Tomatoes, Chocolate (YES, I had some special Peruvian, more of that later). Here is a picture of what you will need.
I used three different chilli varieties Pasilla, Mulato and Guajillo which needed soaking in hot water for 15 mins to soften them, after I had dry fried them for a couple of minutes in a hot pan to help; release their flavor oils.
I was using a combination of recipes for this Mole, William Harcourt-Cooze, of chocolate fame in conjunction with a web find and Tomasina Miers, Masterchef winner and owner of the ‘Wahaca‘ restaurant chain. The reason for this combination was that there were subtle differences in some of the processes, such as roasting the onions and tomatoes in a dry pan, and using Tortilla Chips as a thickening agent and flavour layer. The chocolate I used is a pure Cacao from Peru (Peruvian Black 100%), you can get it in Waitrose in the cooking section, or mail order if you click on William Harcourt-Cooze’s name above.
The spice mix on the left (Cloves, Cinnamon Bark), and the Peanuts were both dry fried to bring out their flavour before grinding into a powder. Once you have dry fried the chili’s, soak them for 15 minutes in hot water, reserve some of the liquid as this is added to the Mole to intensify the taste. Once soaked, remove the stalks and seeds before chopping up, and adding to the Onions, Garlic and Tomatoes.
Lemon Tart Revisited
The crème/custard is made by putting a couple of eggs, castor sugar, lemon zest and juice from 2 lemons into a saucepan and whisking over a moderate heat until thick. Don’t have the heat too high or you will end up with scrambled eggs. When thick, turn off the heat cover with some cling film to prevent a skin forming and leave to cool (you can put into a pan of cold water if you don’t have much time to speed the cooling process).