Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Chicken Mole for the Lazy Cook

So, I've been reading Lynne Rosetto Kasper's How to Eat Supper and she had a wonderful recipe for bittersweet chocolate chipotle dressing, which she casually mentions could easily be adapted into make a "cheaters" mole. Every mole recipe I've ever seen has a list of ingredients a mile long and takes all day to make. This mole sauce can be ready in less than 30 minutes. Wow - big time saver. I thought I would give it a whirl and see if I could make a decent mole with minimal effort.

Here is my adaptation of Kasper's instructions. I varied the recipe a bit, and I was quite pleased with the results. The mole is so easy to put together and you could even use a rotisserie chicken if you are in a rush. The sauce would also be great over big grilled gulf shrimp.

Chicken Mole the Easy Way

1 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 whole chipotle in adobo (also 2 t. of adobe sauce from the can)
1/2 C chopped tomatoes or grape tomatoes
2 T whole salted almonds
2 T cider vinegar
1/2 onion, chopped finely
1 garlic clove, minced
1 T olive oil
Cilantro, chopped fine
2 large bone-in chicken breasts, roasted, skins removed and chopped into large chunks
1/2 C chicken broth or water, as needed

Into your food processor place the chocolate, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, tomatoes, almonds and cider vinegar. Whirl it all up until it is the consistency of a thick paste. The almonds and chocolate should be finely ground. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and add the onions. Cook over medium heat until the onions are soft. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Dump in the sauce from the food processor. Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes. Add chicken broth or water if the sauce reduces too much (I added about 1/4 C. chicken broth). Add in the chopped chicken and continue to let simmer for about 5-7 minutes. Taste and add salt/pepper as necessary.

Serve over rice and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Makes 4 normal sized portions.

This is going into the rotation. Very good, super easy.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Getting Started.....

Well, I have finally done it, gone and started a blog. This is a place for me to record stuff I've made, things I like, good deals, rants, random thoughts, etc. I recently moved to Austin TX from Cincinnati and since I'm currently unemployed, I figured I finally had the time to set up a blog.

I am enjoying all the great grocery choices in Austin. The grocery stores here are flat out amazing compared to the choices in Cincinnati. The only thing that would make Austin grocery shopping better would be if Trader Joe's opened up a store here. I LUV Trader Joe's!

I am trying to cook economically since we're down to one income until I get a job. Last week, I made a simple grilled salmon with green beans tossed in olive oil and garlic and roasted red potatoes. The whole meal for two costs less than $5 total - amazing. I also baked a chocolate cake - from scratch. So much better and cheaper than a mix. The cake was a total splurge, I certainly don't need the calories but damn, sometimes you need some chocolate.

Simple Broiled Salmon

8 oz Salmon filet (I prefer Atlantic salmon)
1 T butter, melted

fresh green beans
1 garlic clove chopped
1 T olive oil
cherry tomatoes

Preheat the broiler. Meantime place aluminum foil on a cookie sheet, spray it with non-stick cooking spray. Place the salmon (skin side down) on the cookie sheet, drizzle with melted butter and add a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. Broil on high for about 4-5 minutes per side. Watch the fish closely and if the oven starts to get smoky, remove the fish and turn the broiler on low. Salmon is done when it flakes easily with a fork.

About halfway through the cooking time, I add some fresh green beans to the cookie sheet (drizzle them with olive oil and some chopped garlic). Let the beans cook with the fish. I sometimes throw in some cherry tomatoes also.
DELISH - tastes just like what you'd get at a fancy restaurant for a fraction of the cost.