I was observing that I seem to be as lazy as though it were me whose school had ended for summer, and a friend on twitter pointed out it can be hard to lose your routine. He completely hit the nail on the head. I apologize for the lack of posts lately, but I have been either busy–dance rehearsals and recitals, weekend guests, end of school year stuff–or, frankly, curled up on the couch reading a book. And I am nervous about this blog and my summer. We will be gone for a month and a half! For a while this site may become a travelogue and not a recipe blog. So I hope you are all patient.
Dried peppers soaking–the second bowl on top keeps the peppers submerged.
But about this post! Guys, I am loving World Kitchen. I so hope more of you will join up because we are having a blast. And I love the inspiration to push myself. It’s kind of like Daring Cooks or Bakers–but with moral support while you are doing it! This molé is an excellent case in point. I have always been intimidated by molé. I don’t know why it never occurred to me that my Preethi wet dry grinder would make molé a dream to make–but it absolutely did. Yet another reason to own this fabulous machine. I think everyone who participated would agree because although the instructions recommended a food processor, much like Thai curry paste, the processor alone is a little disappointing. Everyone else said their sesame seeds remained whole. Mine were completely pulverized.
Shredded pork to go into molé.
Unlike the paella, I followed the recipe exactly for the molé paste (except for using the Preethi), so I am linking to World Kitchen for that recipe. However, what we chose to do with the paste was completely up to us, and so that is the recipe you see below. I first cooked a pork shoulder overnight in beer and aromatics, then shredded the pork and mixed it into the molé. I layered that with caramelized veggies, corn tortillas and queso fresco for a tortilla casserole (the lazy person’s answer to enchiladas). It was a big hit with everyone but Sammy. My in-laws were here and they each had 2 servings, John and Alex loved it and so did I. Some people online found it a little sweet, but with the shredded pork and queso fresco that sweetness was balanced out perfectly.
Some World Kitchen notes: first be sure to check out Marocmama as Amanda will be offering a giveaway on peppers provided by My Spice Sage for World Kitchen. The giveaway will end Friday, June 17 and should be posted on her site in the next few days. Next, because of my traveling I will probably not be involved in the next World Kitchen event. I will do my best to remember to post about it, but please continue to check out either World Kitchen or Marocmama if you are interested in participating. There are not too many reasons to be sad about a trip to Morocco, but not participating in the next World Kitchen is one of them for me.
- 1 4- lbs-ish (no need to be exact) pork shoulder, bone-in
- 2 small-medium onions, sliced, divided
- 6-8 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 12- oz bottle Mexican lager
- Approximately 42 corn tortillas
- 1 recipe Coloradito mole, see link above
- 8 oz queso fresco, crumbled
- 3 sweet bell peppers, thinly sliced
- 4 small zucchini, sliced into half-moons
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Mexican crema for serving
Note that this recipe will give you extra shredded pork in mole--I froze mine to save for later use. I did not scale the recipe down because it is all based Zarela Martinez's recipe for Coloradito mole. (Note: recipe seo will not let me include accented e in mole.)
Begin the day or evening before--for the day, preheat the oven 300 F and for the night preheat to 225 F. Heat a medium large Dutch oven (I used 5 qt oval) with some olive oil. Salt and pepper the pork all over and then brown it all over. Remove the pork and add half of the small onions with a pinch of salt. Use the liquid from the onions to deglaze the pan. Cook for 7 minutes and then add the 6-8 garlic cloves. Cook another 2 minutes and then add the beer. Bring to a boil. Add the pork with its juices back into the pan and sprinkle the remaining small onions over the top of the pork. Cover with a heavy lid and place in the oven. Cook around 4 hours at 300 F or overnight, up to 12 hours, at 225 F. When it is fork tender, remove and let cool.
When you are ready to prepare dinner, about an hour or so before you want to serve it, preheat the oven to 375 F. Shred the pork and add it to the prepared Coloradito mole--use the maximum amount of chicken stock called for in the recipe.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat with olive oil. Add the sliced large onions with a pinch of salt and cook for 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the 3 garlic cloves as well as the sliced pepper. Cook for another 5-10 minutes, until a lot of the liquid has evaporated and the vegetables are caramelizing. Set aside.
Spread a scant cup of the mole liquid onto the bottom of a large, deep casserole (9X13X3). Layer 6 overlapping tortillas over that, followed by spreading a cup of the vegetables over that. Then layer another cup of the shredded pork in mole, followed by crumbled queso fresco. Repeat, starting with the tortillas. When you get to the top, end with 6 tortillas followed by the shredded pork then the queso fresco.
Cover the casserole with foil and place in the oven for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and cook another 10-20 minutes, until the edges are browning and bubbling.
Remove and let stand for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve drizzled with Mexican crema.