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Caarina

Chichilo Oaxaqueno

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This weekend, I made Chichilo Oaxaqueno from Susana Trilling's book, Seasons of My Heart with chiles I brought back from Oaxaca. Unfortunately, I was flying blind here because Chichilo is one of the only moles I didn't try in Oaxaca.

The result was tasty, but I needed some culinary guidance on this one.

1) Any suggestions on how to burn those chile seeds? I felt like I needed the blow torch to really do it right because I had to go outside (child at home). There was quite a bit of wind so I couldn't get a good burn.

2) I'm not sure if the mole truly had the most authentic taste bc I couldn't get those seeds to burn properly. The tortilla was fully blackened, but maybe only a quarter of the seeds. The mole was not a dark brown, but more of a very dark red. (in shade between a mole coloradito and mole poblano)

Can anyone give me a proper color description of Chichilo or has anyone done a comparison with chichilo eaten in Oaxaca with their own version at home?

3) My DH is a vegetarian, and I used red potatoes, chayote, green beans and chochoyones in my stew (recommendations from Iliana de la Vega from El Naranjo). Pork and beef as well as vegetables are traditionally used in this stew type mole, but the vegetables alone were quite delicious. Any other suggestions on possible vegetable combinations with this mole? I'm thinking some nopales would be good too....

Thanks!

Caarina

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Hi Caarina

Chichilo, my favorite of the 7 Oaxaqueno moles, and the one with the deepest, most sophisticated flavor profile :smile:

The last chichilo I had was in Oaxaca and it was a deep rusty red color. It sounds like you were close with the color. Burning the volatile oils off the chile seeds isn't that difficult, but it does require good ventilation. I've seen both Susanna Trilling and Abigail Mendoza do it and they basically used the same method, i.e. begin toasting on a comal, and then ignite the seeds with a match and allow the fire to burn out. Both burned their seeds outdoors.

I've had good luck toasting chile and chile seeds using a wok over the highest heat I can coax out of my poor old electric range. I didn't have to ignite them but discovered that the constant movement around a wok seemed to do the trick pretty well. The gag reflex kind of indicated that the volatile oils were being burned off. This really is something best done outside. Got propane? :laugh:

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Hello. So glad to have you aboard. What fun.

I have made chichilo negro twice at home but have never had the chance to eat it in Oaxaca. Never seen it available.

I have used only the D. Kennedy recipe from her book, The Art of Mexican Cooking, but have both women's versions here in front of me. Trilling has the interesting addition of almonds and raisins, I would hasten to say that Kennedy's version is more rustic.

I used a cast iron skillet to blacken the tortillas and the seeds together. The trick is to just keep going, they will eventually turn black and then catch on fire.

Luckily, my back door in right off my kitchen, so I could let the flames just do their thing. I admit I'm happiest when I get to play with fire!

I think you could also achieve the same fire factor if you did the burning part of the recipe in a cast iron pan on top of your gas barbeque - if you have one.

Reading Trilling's recipe, the instructions are a bit vague as to how to proceed with the burning of the tortilla and the seeds. She does suggest igniting them, did you try that?

The Kennedy recipe describes charring the chilies as well, Trilling describes blistering them.

The colour of the resulting mole - the one I made - is dark, almost black, wonderfully earthy in flavour and really so amazing when you start thinking about, how did this recipe come about?

I made my mole with beef, but your ideas about serving it with green beans, chayote, potato and dumplings sounds wonderful - very mole amarillo. Nopales certainly would add another interesting texture to the stew.

Hope some of this helps.

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Thanks everybody for the great responses!

I think I was on target now, but next time, I will toast the seeds longer on my comal then move to ignite outside or simply put the fan on high and tell my hubby to take the kid for a walk. The wind was too brisk on Sunday and my matches wouldn't stay lit long enough to ignite the seeds. (went through 2 books of matches!)

I'm so glad the color was right! Frankly, after all that work, I would hope it would be somewhat authentic. Tasted good too! Had some leftovers a few moments ago. YUM.

Next time I will try DK's version. I read through it prior to trying Susana's version and I saw that DK recommended blackening the chiles as well as the seeds and tortilla. If I remember properly, she also didn't call for nearly the same amount of tomatoes (or raisins and almonds). I tend to prefer DK's recipes in almost all circumstances, and I always look for her version prior to trying any recipe.

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Great! Look forward to new versions... Ricardo Munoz is someone I highly respect and admire...

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Now that I've had time to think about this, I've heard rumour of a chichilo rojo - which could be the one from Ricardo Munoz or the one that Kalypso observed being made by Abagail.

Could there be three chichilos? Rojo, Negro and Oaxaqueno?

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Now that I've had time to think about this, I've heard rumour of a chichilo rojo - which could be the one from Ricardo Munoz or the one that Kalypso observed being made by Abagail.

Could there be three chichilos? Rojo, Negro and Oaxaqueno?

As usually, I was responding a little to quickly and didn't exactly make myself clear :hmmm:

The Chichilo I ate was actually prepared by either Roberto Santibanez or Ricardo Munoz as part of a class I was taking at Casa Cerro Segrado.

The chile seeds that I watched Susanna Trilling and Abigail Mendoza burn off were for Black Mole. Same process, just a different mole.

In any event, the Chichilo and both Mole Negros were all awesome.

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