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Thursday, Aug. 5, 2010 01:00 am

Mole verde (Green mole)

  • 1 lb. fresh tomatillos, husked and washed
  • 1 poblano chile
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 medium white onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 handful EACH flat-leafed parsley and cilantro, or use all cilantro
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1 T. masa harina
  • 2 T. unhydrogentated lard, bacon fat, or butter (*See note below.)
  • salt and sugar to taste

Heat a griddle or heavy skillet over moderately high heat. Add the tomatillos to the skillet. Sear, turning frequently, until the tomatillos are blackened in spots and somewhat soft, about 10 minutes. Put in the container of an electric blender or food processor.

Roast the poblano over an open flame of a gas burner or grill by holding it by its stem with tongs or laying it on a rack. Turn until the skin is completely blackened. Put the chile in a paper bag and close the top. Steam for about 5 minutes. Wipe off the blackened skin with a paper towel, remove seeds and stem and coarsely chop. Add to the blender along with the garlic, onion, parsley, cilantro, water and masa. Purée until smooth.

 Heat the lard in a heavy saucepan or skillet over high heat. Add the purée and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered for about 10 minutes, until it’s thickened to the consistency of a fine-textured salsa. Season to taste with salt and sugar. Cool to room temperature before serving. Keeps, refrigerated for about a week. Mole verde freezes well. Makes about 3 cups.

*Note: Lard – at least lard that hasn’t been chemically altered (hydrogenated) to keep without refrigeration – has gotten an unfairly bad rap. It actually has much less saturated fat than butter, and almost twice as much monounsaturated (a.k.a. good) fat as butter. To learn more, check out my 10/22/08 IT column, Food’s Four-Letter Word.

Unhydrogenated lard is available locally at Humphrey’s Market, 1821 S. 15th St., 217-544-7518, and at Stan Schutte’s stand at the downtown Wednesday Farmers Market. Stan also makes monthly Springfield deliveries to his buying club — call 217-895-3652 or e-mail him at stan@triplsfarm.com.

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