Walnut Chocolate Mole Tostadas
Chef Charles Schermer
Moles are a classic Mexican sauce typically blended from nuts, chilies, spices and chocolate. But they vary in composition depending on the cook and region, and can come in colors as diverse as black, yellow, brown, red and green. Mole is also the name of a dish incorporating mole sauce and can include chicken, pork and even seafood. Chef Charles Schermer of Aramark uses walnuts as the nut to thicken his mole, rounding it out with tomatoes, shallots, chiles, cocoa and spices.
¾ cup walnuts
1 corn tortilla (6-in. size), torn into pieces
1 tbsp. olive or walnut oil
½ cup diced tomato
½ cup chopped shallots
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1½ tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
¼ tsp. sea salt, or to taste
1 cup vegetable broth
¼ cup fire roasted diced green chiles
2 to 3 tbsp. adobo sauce from canned chipotles
2 tbsp. orange juice
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast or pork tenderloin
16 corn tortillas (6-in. size)
Olive oil or cooking spray
1 cup fresh corn kernels
½ cup diced fresh tomato
Crumbled cotija cheese and fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
1. For mole, in medium skillet over medium heat, combine walnuts and torn tortilla. Cook until fragrant and toasted, stirring frequently.
2. In another medium skillet, heat oil. Add tomatoes, shallots, garlic and spices; cook 5 minutes
or until softened.
3. Add toasted walnut mixture, broth, chiles, adobo sauce and orange juice; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook 30 minutes. When cool enough to handle, transfer mixture to blender container; blend until smooth.
4. While sauce is cooking, preheat oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with foil. Place chicken or pork on foil and brush with about 1/2 cup mole sauce. Bake for 20 minutes or until meat is cooked through. Cut into 1/4-inch slices.
5. While meat is cooking, coat tortillas with oil or cooking spray and place on 2 large baking sheets. Bake at 450 F for 5 minutes or until crisp and lightly browned.
6. To serve, spread about 2 tablespoons mole sauce over each tortilla. Top with chicken, corn and tomato. Garnish with cheese and cilantro.
Photo courtesy of California Walnuts