Tag Archives: Oaxaca

Holy Molé!

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Breakfast at Chilhuacle Rojo in Oaxaca City

Weeks before we left for Oaxaca, I chose this blog-topic – Hole Molé – knowing that I would return from our visit excited to cook the 7 famous Oaxacan types of molé.  But it’s not to be.  After a week of food-filled Oaxacan days, I realized that Oaxacan food is just too complex for BigLittleMeals…and me.  If I don’t want to track down the hoja santo,  the chilhuacle rojo (which BTW is the name of one of our favorite cafes in Oaxaca),  the avocado leaves, or the 25+ other ingredients that go into some moles, I’m guessing you won’t want to either.

So I’ll focus on three simple Oaxacan specialties: cheese, chocolate, and mezcal.  Meanwhile, Andy – in Andy’s Corner – is busy trying to find out what gets lost in translation.

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Molletes using ciabatta bread and served with salsas and sour cream at Boulenc in Oaxaca City

If you want Oaxacan – yet simple – go for a mollete.  Toast bread (Mexican bolillos is traditional), add a thin layer of refried black beans and a little Oaxacan melting cheese, stick it under the broiler, and serve with a store-bought salsa and some sour cream or crema.  At a fabulous bakery in Oaxaca City, Boulenc,  molletes are made with ciabatta bread.  I highly recommend that.

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Chocolate ground for hot drinks  at the Mercado 20 de Noviembre in Oaxaca City

Every market we visited in Oaxaca had a stand selling Mayordomo Chocolate, which is made in Oaxaca.  And every market had bins of ground chocolate – to be used in drinks.  So we’re offering up a recipe for a simple “snacking cake” with Mexican chocolate.  It’s a cake which even I, as a certified non-chocolate-eater, could over-eat.  If you can’t find Mexican chocolate, other bar chocolate can be substituted.

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Taza Chocolate – Oaxacan-style chocolate made in Maine and available on Amazon

As for mezcal, I love this quote from the article “Mezcal Sunrise” in The New Yorker’s April 2016 issue:  The first sip is mouthwash—harsh, disinfecting, functional. The second reveals the flavors. By the third, people are saying the word “magic,” and it’s not that embarrassing.  How true – if you’re drinking mezcal straight (the purists’ preferred way).  The first sip about blows you away – but it’s all good from then on out!

We’re partial to mezcal cocktails such as this pineapple-y margarita or Joe’s Mezcal Margarita or the Mezcal Negroni, which we blogged about earlier.

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Oaxacan Gold Margarita

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