Ah yes, Mexican cuisine. Much like Chinese and Indian food, the food of Mexico has been adapted very heavily by the rest of the world. Much like the rest of this list, my aim is to try and make something actually reminiscent of a dish made in Mexico. Not Tex-Mex (like in the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend song ‘Group Hang’).
With a population of 127.5 million and about 7 recognised regional cuisines, there really is plenty of dishes to choose from when trying to cook something Mexican. The least I could do was try to find a dishes from two different regions – so I chose an Oaxacan main and a dessert with from Guadalajara.
For the main, I decided to make the first food that came to mind: mole. But which type of mole? There are so many different types of mole out there (mole poblano, mole negro, mole amarillo etc.) that it was hard to make a choice – so I just went for one where I would be able to source the proper chiles for the job (thank you Wholefoods).
There are so many mole recipes out there for mole coloradito, all of them with conflicting ingredients. Some have plantains, some use pork instead of chicken, some have different proportions of ancho chiles to guajillo chilles. I just opted for a recipe that seemed like a happy medium (which was this one from Genius Kitchen) and adapted it from there.
The main changes I made was to condense some of the frying steps and to boil a whole chicken for 100 minutes. Even with that, I was cooking for over three hours (where my weird blender didn’t help things) and needed a good sit down at the end of it. It also meant that I did not wait the full 15 minutes of cooling and just started eating it right away.
Never did I think just how important that cooling would be to the flavour. Before cooling it was nice enough, but a bit bitter. After the cooling process the flavours became more complex, the richness of the chocolate came through and most of the bitterness disappeared. It went from nice to incredibly morish – so I cannot wait to see what it’s like when I have the leftovers for dinner tomorrow.
Would I make this again? Yes, I know it took a while but since I better know what I am doing this should be easier next time. Also, I would like to try and make some of the other mole sauces to have with some flour tortillas.
Considering how long it takes to make mole sauce, I figured it would be a good idea to have a simpler dessert that would compliment the heat from the chiles. So when I found a recipe for Bionico on Mexico in My Kitchen it felt like the perfect match – especially since this is a dish that started life as Mexican street food whose name literally means ‘bionic’.
Being from the UK, I am very much used to the idea of fruit and cream as a dessert (I mean, what else are you meant to do when you watch the tennis at Wimbledon), but I was not quite prepared for the creme mixture here and how it would work with 4 different types of fruit and all those toppings.
Honestly I think the creme (a mixture of condensed milk, sour cream, natural yogurt and vanilla) really made this dish. I could probably just drink that until I got sick. I also like how this recipe can be so easily adapted depending on what fruit is available; today I used the four from the recipe, but I can see how banana, mango or peach would also work.
So that’s it from Mexico, I have decided that to start this list off I want to do one country per continent before just roaming around cuisines. Next time I will be cooking from an Asian country, not sure which yet but probably an East Asian one.
Until then, ¡Buen apetito!