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Pasilla and Apple Mole

10 pasilla chiles (these are dried chiles)
3 1/2" thick slices Spanish white onion
5 garlic cloves
1 medium tomato
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 McIntosh or Gala Apples
1/2 cup shelled, skinless raw peanuts
1 piece of Canela (Mexican cinnamon, or sub 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
4 whole cloves
1 teaspoon fine salt or 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
6-7 cups chicken stock
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1-2 teasppons cider vinegar, if necessary
1-2 teaspoons sugar, if necessary

Toast chiles on the comal (if you don't already own one, make this your excuse to buy a comal at Casa Lucas for around $10), turning them and pressing with tongs until they are slightly blistered, in small batches of 2-3 chiles so they don't burn.

Transfer to a bowl of cold water, enough to cover, and soak about 20-30 minutes until they are soft to the touch.

Roast onion slices on comal (remember, a comal is almost always used dry, do not add oil) until softened and charred on both sides, about 15 minutes..

Core tomato and put it on the comal (after your onions are done as the tomato skin tends to stick to the comal) and cook, turning until all sides are charred.

Preheat oven to 450°. Heat oil in a medium heavy skillet over medium heat. Core, skin and cut apples into 8 wedges each, and add to the oil, saute until golden. Transfer to a baking pan and roast until tender, 10-20 minutes.

Once the apples are roastedint in the oven, put the peanuts in the skillet with the remaining oil and cook for about 2 minutes.

Transfer onion slices, tomato, apples and peanuts to a bowl, add drainded chiles (note- for a slighly spicier mole, use the chiles intact... pasillas are a milder chile; if you are worried at all about the level of heat, remember that by remving the seeds and veins inside each chile, which iseasy to do when they have been soaked, the subsequent sauce you produce will be even less spicey).

Add garlic, cumin, cloves and salt, stir well.

Working in small batches, combine the apple mixture with 3 cups of the stock (so 1 1/2 cups per batch) in the blender and belnd well, about 3 minutes. Check that the skins of the chiles are well-blended. Add a little liquid to the blender and swish around to get every last drop of mole and add to the pot.

Transfer the mole to a heavy 5-6 quart pot, simmer, uncovered but with a splatter screen, for 10 minutes, stirring frequnetly, until it thickens slightly. Add just enough of the remaining stock (abut 3 cups) to obtain a velvety consistency that thickly coats a wooden spoon but isn't gloppy. Reduce heat and continue to simmer about 20 minutes, adding stock as needed to maintain consistency. Season to taste with sugar and cider vinegar, additional salt.

Serve with super simple enchiladas


For the most basic, but still wildly delicious, enchiladas, all you have to do is take the softened tortillas and submerge them with tongs in a tasty cooking salsa, adobo sauce (particularly one made from Adobo D.F. or Basic Ancho Adobo), thick mole, or pipián.

Working with one tortilla at a time, you fold the tortilla in half while it’s still submerged in the sauce, then you fold it in half again.

Put the soaked tortillas on a plate (you can keep the plate in a low oven as you dunk the other tortillas), top them with chopped white onion and cilantro, a drizzle of crema, crumbled queso fresco and perhaps some eggs or chicken.

No rolling or baking required!