It's no secret that Brian and I love Mexican food; we have it at least three times a week. Brian loves to cook, and I'm getting more into it as well, so we're always looking for new recipes to try. One of our best impulse buys was the Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publication, Mexican. We have tried five recipes so far and have LOVED each of them. Not only loved them, but in the month since buying the magazine, REPEATED them. Below is our favorite:
Lamb with Easy Black Mole
1/2 cup finely chopped onion (1 medium)
1 T minced garlic (6 cloves)
1 T ground ancho chile pepper
1 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups chicken or beef broth
1/3 adobo paste
3 T almond butter
12 lamb loin chops, cut 1" thick
Ground black pepper
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas), toasted
1/4 cup crumbled queso frecso (1 oz)
1/4 cup snipped fresh cilantro
For mole, in a large saucepan cook onion, garlic and 1/4 t salt in 1 T hot oil. Stir in ground ancho chile pepper and cocoa powder; cook for 1 minute. Add broth; bring just to boiling. Add adobo paste, almond butter and 2 t packed brown sugar, whisking until smooth. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. If desired, season to taste with salt. (Sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add additional broth if necessary).
Trim fat from lamb chops. Coat chops with 1 T oil; sprinkle with salt and black pepper. For a charcoal or gas grill, place chops on the grill rack directly over medium heat.* Cover and grill for 14 to 16 minutes for medium rare (145 degrees) or 17 to 20 minutes for medium (160 degrees), turning once halfway through grilling time. Transfer to a serving platter. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
To serve, spoon mole over chops. Sprinkle with pepitas, queso fresco and cilantro.
*Lamb chops tend to be fatty and can cause flare-ups. If necessary, remove chops from the grill and mist the fire with water from a spray bottle. When the flames subside, return the chops to the grill.
Prep: 25 minutes
Grill: 14 minutes
Stand: 5 minutes
We use beef broth and add one chipotle along with the adobo paste. Once all the ingredients have been added, we use the immersion blender to really smooth everything out. This recipe makes enough mole to use for at least two more meals, such as grilled tri-tip or grilled chicken breasts.