Mole in a jar, what to do?
I was buying some El Pato at my local market and decided to get some jarred mole. I bought both green and red. I make it sometimes myself but it is totally not authentic, by a long shot; tasty though. I tried the red tonight, and it was so thick (I was using it with leftover turkey) I added a bunch of beer that was also going into the Spanish rice. Then it tasted really bitter so I added a big spoonful of commercial peanut butter, and now it wasn't bad. But this was totally on the fly, I was busy making everything else and thought this was going to be a breeze. I thought you just put the sauce in with the meat, and voila!
Any ideas for the future appreciated!
The stuff in jars is usually supposed to be thinned down with broth. In my experience, quite a lot of broth, but maybe I like my mole on the soupy side. Have a look at the following threads for some previous discussions:
"Mole in a Jar"
"Mole sauce? What to do with it?"
"jarred mole help"
"Mole paste in a jar (poblano)"
"1 Jar of Dona Maria Mole - help!"
I agree... the jarred stuff needs to be thinned down with broth.
My first experience was in college. A classmate from Mexico City invited us over for Mole. I thought she was going to spend all day making Mole. She just used the jar stuff and thinned it down with the liquid she used to poach the chicken. I don't remember if she added extra herbs and spices into the poaching liquid, but the results were quite nice.
Dilution with broth is normal even when making it from scratch. Dried chiles and spices are toasted, and then ground into a paste along with nuts (or seeds) and some sort of bread or crackers. This grinding might be done at home, or at a neighborhood food mill. Or the prepared paste might be bought from the market. It is then diluted with broth than an old chicken or turkey was cooked in. There might be a step of frying the paste in oil a bit.
A Mexican meat market near me sells mole paste in plastic bags from Mexico. At $10 for a lb bag I haven't bought any, but the smell of one (negro I believe) sure was tempting.
My experience with jarred mole products is that the red / poblano types are generally OK with a little dilution of poultry stock. After some simmer time, taste and adjust heat with powdered dried chile if desired.
OTOH the green 'mole' is usually just good for its thickening power (ground nuts and seed content). Besides dilution, be prepared to add fresh, minced chile and blend it until smooth after simmering a while. Homemade green moles usually contain actual 'greens', so they may be added closer to the finish. Let the recipe be your guide.
Recently more commercial moles are packaged in boxes 'ready to use'. Aside from the dilution, the above hints still apply. I was pleasantly surprised with the boxed Rogelio Bueno mole poblano - a good starter for folks new to mole.