Mole with avocado salsa

I was recommended the food show ‘Somebody Feed Phil’ by a friend and I’ve been craving Mexican food ever since as the first episode was set in Mexico. It’s a great show though I’m not sure how he would have got on in Mexico if he was a much stricter Jew than what he actually seems to be. They love their pork over there. I liked this recipe on BBC Good Food as it has the orange, the spices, the raisins and therefore didn’t rely on the meat to flavour the dish. It was really tasty and if you really want to go to town on it, it would be great with some cheese and sour cream.

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • oil
  • 500g frozen quorn
  • 1 tsp tomato puree
  • 200ml beef flavoured stock (or veggie)
  • 1 orange
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 250g cherry tomatoes
  • 50g almonds
  • 50g raisins
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chipotle paste
  • 25g dark chocolate
  • 200g radishes
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 limes
  • 10g coriander leaves
  • 2 green chilis
  • rice to serve

Method

1.) Zest the orange and chop in half and deseed.

2.) Strip the leaves of thyme off the sprigs and make up the stock.

3.) Pan fry the frozen quorn for a couple of minutes. Add the zest of the orange and squeeze in the juice. Stir through the tomato puree. Add the cinnamon and thyme and cook until the liquid reduces. Set to one side. Put some rice on to cook.

4.) Fry the almonds in a saucepan on a low heat until toasted then put into a blender. Peel and dice the onions and peel and finely slice the garlic. In the saucepan, heat some oil and add the onions. Cook for 5 minutes then add the garlic. Tip into the blender. Add the coriander and cumin spices and the chipotle paste.

5.) Add the cherry tomatoes to the pan and cook until they’re starting to break down then add these to the blender. Give everything a blitz until a sauce is made.

6.) Now, make the salsa, Finely slice the radishes and the chillis. Chop up the coriander leaves and add all these to a bowl. Halve the limes and squeeze in the juice. Cut the avocados in half and scoop out the flesh. Chop into chunks and mix with the other salsa ingredients.

7.) Add the blitzed sauce back to the frying pan with the quorn. Cook on a low heat for 10 minutes or so. Add the chocolate and mix until melted.

8.) Serve the mole sauce with some rice and some avocado salsa on the side.

Mole Sauce

In the UK, we have a celebrity chef called Rick Stein who has a fantastic seafood restaurant in Barnes, close to where I used to live in London. As with most of our celebrity chefs over here, he’s had a couple of tv series where he goes to another country, tries the food and makes his own recipes (sounds like the dream job to me!). I bought his book ‘The Road to Mexico’ as the dishes in there all look absolutely delicious. Unfortunately, I haven’t used the book much because the recipes are either fairly hard work or have ingredients I can’t find or more often – both. I decided enough was enough and I would make something out of this book, even if I had to change a recipe. As a result, this delicious Mole sauce. The sauce is quite rich and sweet so you can’t have too much of it in one go. I would serve it with some plant based steaks – I recommend the ones by plant pioneers.

Serves 8 – 10

Ingredients

  • 2 mild chillis
  • 1/2 tsp ancho chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chilli flakes
  • 30g panko breadcrumbs
  • 50g sesame seeds
  • 120g blanched almonds (or flaked)
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 5cm cinnamon stick
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 small unripe banana
  • 130g raisins/currants
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 litre stock (I used vegetarian beef flavoured stock powder)
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Method

1.) Toast the breadcrumbs, chillis, chilli flakes, sesame seeds, almonds, coriander seeds and the cinnamon stick until smelling fragrant.

2.) Grind to a fine powder in a spice grinder. It’s quite a lot of stuff so I found it easier to do it in 2 lots.

3.) Peel and chop up the banana, peel and chop finely the garlic and peel and chop the onion. Weigh out the raisins.

4.) Heat the oil in a frying pan and then fry the bananas for a couple of minutes. Add the raisins and fry for one minute more. Then add the garlic and onion and fry until soft. While the onion is cooking, make up the stock.

5.) Now, add the contents of the pan, the spice mixture, the oregano and the stock to a blender and blitz. Again, you may need to do this in two lots. At this point with the sesame seeds and banana it’s almost like a beautiful peanut butter milkshake.

6.) Add back to the pan. Break up the chocolate and drop into the sauce. Simmer gently for 15 – 20 minutes until the sauce is lovely and thick. Season and serve as you wish.

Before the chocolate has melted