We’re all probably familiar with most people’s idea of Mexican food who aren’t Mexican. Store-bought tortillas filled with ground beef with a pre-mixed spice mix and some shredded lettuce, right?
If you want to take your Mexican food to the next level, there are some recipes that you’ll want to know.
The first one is how to make flour tortillas.
The second one is how to make the most iconic Mexican sauce: mole (chocolate chili sauce).
Flour tortilla recipe
There’s nothing quite like homemade flour tortillas, and they can be easy to make.
In order to succeed, you can get yourself a tortilla press (like this one at unocasa.com, for example). You don’t need one for this recipe, but it will speed things up a bit.
This recipe makes 8 tortillas.
- 1 3/4 cups flour (all-purpose), plus extra for dusting
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
- 1/2 cup hot water
Take a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Using a pastry cutter, work the shortening into the dry mixture till you get what looks like coarse crumbs.
In the center of the flour, make a well. Gently mix in the hot water using a fork.
Remove the dough and put it on a cutting board, kneading it for about 3 minutes. You want your dough to become smooth and soft. If your dough is too sticky, add a bit more flour.
Form your dough into a ball and dust it with flour on top. Cover it with the bowl (no need for plastic wrap, better for the environment). Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
Cut your dough into eight equal parts. Take out one part and leave the rest covered so that it doesn’t dry out.
Form your tortillas either by hand or using your tortilla press.
Now it’s time to cook your tortillas. Heat a large griddle or skillet over medium-high heat, and cook your tortilla for about 1 minute on each side. Flip a third time and cook for a final minute before removing it. Place it in a basket with a lid to keep the heat in while you cook the rest of the tortillas.
Ta-da! Freshly made flour tortillas, which you can enjoy with mole (see below).
Mole sauce recipe
Mole is traditionally served at weddings in Mexico and on other special occasions. Homemade mole sauce is sure to impress anyone.
This recipe serves 4 people.
- 2 dried ancho chilis, seeded and stemmed
- 2 dried guajillo chilis, seeded and stemmed
- 2 dried chipotle chilis, stemmed and seeded
- 1 bread roll, torn into small pieces
- 2 corn tortillas, sliced into 1-inch strips
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 tomatoes, cut in half
- 5 tomatillos, cut in half
- 1 tablespoon of lard
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 large cloves garlic, diced
- 4 tablespoons peanut or almond butter
- ¼ cup raisins
- 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 5 whole cloves
- 6 whole allspice berries
- 5 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Sesame seeds, for serving
Put the chilis, pieces of bread roll, and the strips of corn tortilla in a pan (without oil) over medium heat and stir for 3 minutes. Put them into a blender.
Warm up the chicken broth and pour it into the blender. Leave everything to sit for a few minutes to soften. (If you have a high-speed blender, you don’t have to let the mixture sit before blending).
While the mixture softens in the blender, cook the tomatoes and tomatillos in a dry pan on medium-high heat till soft and blackened (3 minutes each side).
Blend what’s in the blender till smooth, then add the tomatoes and tomatillos and blend again. Leave this mixture to sit while you prepare the next set of ingredients.
Put the lard in a large skillet over medium heat to melt. When it’s melted, stir in the onion, garlic, nut butter, raisins, cumin seeds, thyme, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and allspice berries. Cook for just over 5 minutes, or till the onions are soft.
Take out the cinnamon sticks, cloves, and allspice berries. Discard.
Add the onion mixture to the blender (or put everything into a pot and blend with a stick blender if your blender jug isn’t big enough). Blend till smooth.
Pour everything into a large saucepan and turn on the heat to medium. Now stir in the chocolate pieces, the other cup of chicken broth, the sugar, and salt. Let the mixture simmer while stirring occasionally. The chocolate will melt, and the sauce will thicken as it reduces – this should take about 10 minutes.
Serve over boiled chicken with rice, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and serve the flour tortillas on the side.