Weekly Winner: Holy Mole! This is tasty chicken!

Mole ChickenI know, I know…. cheesy headline.  But seriously this is tasty… and it is a mole.  I really had no choice.

Normally, I would not attempt to make any type of mole unless I had a Mexican grandmother’s handed down recipe to follow.  Seeing as though almost all of my heritage and ancestors are German — no such luck.  But with this slow-cooker recipe, basically if you can cut things up and operate a blender… you can have a fairly impressive mole dish.  The recipe comes from Everyday Food.  I took the serving suggestion on the magazine’s picture and served it with rice mixed with peas.  The sweetness of the peas really stood out with the flavorful, spicy mole sauce.

Slow-Cooker Chicken Mole

Serves 6

Ingredients:

4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 12)

1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes

1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped

2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed

1 large chipotle chile in adobo sauce

1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1/4 cup raisins

3 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (1/2 cup)

3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Season chicken thighs with salt and place in a 5-6 quart slow cooker.  In a blender,  puree tomatoes, onion, ancho and chipotle chiles, almonds, raisins, chocolate, garlic, oil, cumin, and cinnamon until smooth.  Add tomato mixture to slow cooker, cover and cook on high until chicken is tender, 4 hours (or 8 hours on low).

Weekly Winner: Sometimes you just need a taco

I realize it has been awhile since my last post.  Busy times and crazy schedules have not given me time for much cooking and experimentation.  When I have had time to cook, I’ve been relying on my old standards — many of which have already been featured here.

tacoSo when I finally had a minute this weekend to enjoy a home-cooked meal, it was not my typical labor-intensive cook-all-day, lose-myself-in-the-kitchen kind of Sunday Supper.  Nope.  I wanted tacos.  Steak tacos to be exact.  Turned out to be the perfect combination — tasty, fast, a bit different, and well…. tacos.  The recipe is Grilled Steak Tacos with Spicy Slaw and it comes from Fine Cooking Magazine.

Grilled Steak Tacos with Spicy Slaw

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 tsp. pure ancho chile powder
  • 2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1/4 lb. flank steak
  • 1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 to 2 medium jalapeños, stemmed
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice; more as needed
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Lime wedges for serving

Procedure:

Prepare a medium (375°F) gas or charcoal grill fire.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the ancho powder with 1 tsp. of the sugar, 2 tsp. salt, and 3/4 tsp. pepper. Pat the steak dry, sprinkle the ancho mixture on both sides, and let sit at room temperature while the grill heats.

Set the onion rounds and jalapeños on a large plate and sprinkle with 1 Tbs. of the oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper.

In a large bowl, toss the cabbage with the lime juice, the remaining 1 tsp. sugar, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil and toss again.

Put the steak, onions, and jalapeños on the grill. Grill the steak, flipping once, until cooked to your liking, 5 to 6 minutes for medium rare (130°F to 135°F). Grill the vegetables, flipping once, until grill marks appear and they’re just tender, 4 to 6 minutes for the jalapeños and about 8 minutes for the onion. (Move the onions to a cooler part of the grill or lower the heat if they start to burn.) Transfer the steak and vegetables to a cutting board; let the steak rest for 5 minutes.

Chop the onions and finely chop the jalapeños, add to the cabbage mixture, and toss well. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and lime juice.

Spread 4 tortillas on the grill and heat, flipping once, until warm and softened, about 1 minute. Stack the warmed tortillas in a kitchen towel; repeat with the remaining tortillas.

Thinly slice the steak and put a few slices on each of the warm tortillas. Top with the slaw and a dollop of sour cream. Serve with the lime wedges.