Advanced Cooking – Day 19

October 20, 2016

Lots to do with the sport auction and stuff. Today was a little hectic with setting up for lunch service and doing some other small tasks like peel leaves for candied brussel sprouts, brining game hen, and the best of all: Mole Poblano! I think that having a pretty famous chef come up from a Latin American country would be an awesome experience. Just meeting him would be great but to cook mole with him would be even better; you’ll have to forgive me because I cannot remember his name… Chef Gil demoed Mole Poblano today while telling us some history and reminiscent times behind it’s creation. Before the demo, we had to run across the street (literally, in pouring down rain that soak us through) to grab some Mexican spices and chiles.

The process starts with four different varieties of chiles: chipotle, poblano, ancho, and molato chiles. These have all been dried and need to be seeded and toasted. We also toasted whole cumin, coriander, black peppercorns, and clove, then sliced almonds and sunflower seeds-the seeds would help thicken the mole. Additional ingredients used are plantains, raisins, onions, garlic, and tomato. The ingredient would all be pureed at the end so size did not really matter. We brought a rondo up to high temperature with canola oil and fried a corn tortilla torn into strips and some french bread pieces. Once fried, the plantains and raisins were dropped into the oil and fried, once those were pulled the onions and garlic went in to start caramelizing. This whole process, we later found out, would take at least an hour to complete. The tomatoes were next when the onions had become soft and had a great deal of color to them. While this was becoming happy in the rondo, a large saute pan was filled with the seeded dry chiles and water – this was to soften the chiles so that we could mash them later. The seed mixture, spices, plantains and raisins were added next and then came time to smash….and smash….AND smash again. The addition of the chiles and water gave the mixture a bloody color, but the smells emitting from that pot were sinful! Sometime later when our hands and arms were a little sore from squishing for thirty minutes straight, the mole was transferred to a blender where we added some cinnamon, chocolate, a tiny bit of sugar and some salt. This was blended with the water from the chiles and a little bit of stock. Now came the time to start taste testing; we even had a customer in the cafe at the time ask for Chef Gil and he brought her a spoonful of the mole to try and ask what else to ask. Come to figure out we forgot the cinnamon stick at the beginning so we had to add ground cinnamon at the end. Let’s just say it turned out fabulous and I wanted to steal it all at the end of the day. More pictures to come next week!

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