Friday, October 14, 2011

Ghirardelli's Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign & {Recipe} Making Mexican Mole with Intense Dark Chocolate


Did you know that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month? In honor of it and to help raise awareness and funding, Ghirardelli is donating $50,000. Plus they're donating an additional $1 (up to a total of $100,000) for every code input from specially marked packages of Intense Dark Chocolates to the National Breast Cancer Foundation from now until December 31, 2011.
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Look for the pink ribbon on Ghirardelli Intense Dark bars to participate in this awareness campaign.
The special packaging for Evening Dream™ 60% Cacao, Twilight Delight™ 72% Cacao, Midnight Reverie™ 86% Cacao, and Toffee Interlude™features a pink ribbon on the outside and has a code printed on the inside of the wrapper. This code can then be input here and for every properly inputted code, Ghirardelli will make the donation. That's $100,000 to educate women about early detection and provide mammograms for women who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford them. As a woman with friends who have fought this disease–and too many other forms of cancer to count–this is definitely a movement I can get behind.

So, how can you help spread the word? Buy some chocolate and input that code. Also, how about hosting a party? Buy a few extra bars, invite some friends over and have a pairing party. Try the chocolates alone, with wine, nuts, crackers, olives. Here's some ideas from wine expert and head Thirsty Girl, Leslie Sbrocco to get you started:


For more ideas plus a downloadable pairing party kit, log on to http://www.ghirardelli.com/intensedark/.

What I did with some of my chocolate
Since cooking is my passion, I wanted to take it one step farther and try cooking WITH the chocolates. Since my go-to cuisine is Mexican, it seemed only natural that I would try it with one of my favorite Mexican comfort foods: mole. Especially yummy this week because it got cold and rainy for a few days in our otherwise sunny San Diego.
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Homemade mole doesn't have to be intimidating. With a few ingredients and about 40 minutes, you could be enjoying this hearty traditional Mexican meal. What are you waiting for?
Mole makes me think of home. Mom makes the best. I can't remember the last time I had hers. I usually cheat and make it semi-homemade using this. You can pick it up at most major grocery stores with a Mexican Foods section. It takes all the guess work out of making mole. Just open it up (a trick in itself! Use a bottle opener and inch your way around the cap with it. The container itself is a reusable juice glass. I have a collection of them.) and add it to a pot containing a quart of warmed chicken stock (ratio is four parts stock to one part mole paste). Stir to dissolve, taste and adjust salt to your liking. Add some chicken that you've pre-browned, cover and let simmer for 20-30 minutes until chicken is cooked. Easy-peasy.

A few years ago, while hosting a tamalada, I texted messaged mom for her recipe so I could make her mole for the pork tamales. I text messaged mom instead of calling because mom is deaf and praise be the baby fifa for text messaging! It's our favorite form of instant communication. Anywho…Naturally, there were no measurements in that text just a list of the ingredients in the order added. I come from a family of intuitive cooks. There is no measuring. It's all done by feel and years of perfecting recipes. Doesn't make my job very easy in trying to replicate them and record them here for everyone to share. But I try. The night before the tamalada I made the mole and was surprised at how close I was able to replicate it. Not exactly. But close.

There are many different kinds of mole. Every Mexican family has their own version. Some with chocolate. Some with peanuts. Some with tomatoes. Some made from re-hydrated chili. Some from fresh. And some, like my family's, made with our chili powder of choice: California.

If mole recipes with 20+ ingredients and the need to re-hydrate chilies or dealing with purees and toasting nuts seems a bit daunting, then this recipe is for you. You get the satisfaction and taste of homemade without investing in ingredients you'll most likely only use once. If you follow this blog at all, you know I use two chili powders a lot: California and New Mexico. So you probably already have them in your pantry if you've attempted any of my recipes.

Using Ghirardelli Midnight Reverie with 86% cacao in this recipe changed it from our traditional Mexican chocolate version. It really brought out the taste of the chili and made this mole taste all the more complex. It was a definite winning combination. One I'll try again.

Soon.

And often.

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I served my mole on a bed of white rice with some refried beans topped with queso seco and cold hot carrots to add variety of heat, crunch and temperatures.

Mexican Mole featuring Ghirardelli Midnight Reverie
Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CHICKEN
6 chicken quarters
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil

FOR THE MOLE
36 oz. chicken broth
4 tablespoons California chili powder
1 tablespoon New Mexico chili powder
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon
1 bar Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate: Midnight Reverie 86% Cacao, hand broken in to small chunks
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

METHOD
  1. Place chicken on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the chicken. Flip and repeat. Massage oil and seasonings into chicken. Set aside.
  2. To a stock pot or dutch oven, add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and add the chili powders, cumin, garlic, salt and bouillon. Whisk to combine well. Add the chocolate, sugar, cinnamon and peanut butter. Whisk until chocolate is melted and peanut butter is combined. Bring heat down to low, cover and let simmer while you brown the chicken.
  3. Bring a large skillet up to medium hot. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When oil is hot and shimmering, add chicken working in batches so as to not overcrowd your skillet. Brown on all sides. As chicken is browned, remove to a paper towel-lined platter until all chicken is browned. You're only searing in the juices and crisping up the skin at this point. The chicken will finish cooking in the mole.
  4. Once all chicken is browned, carefully add to the mole ladling the sauce over all the chicken to make sure it's covered in mole. Cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes, stirring the chicken every 10 minutes or so.

SUGGESTIONS

  • Serve the chicken mole over a bed of Spanish Rice or white rice (my preference as it soaks up all the excess mole and is oh-so-good!). Add refried beans or a side of simply dressed peas to complete your meal.
  • I found that a nice glass of sangria goes really well with this complimenting both the chili and the Ghirardelli chocolate in the mole.
  • You'll most likely have extra mole after all the chicken is gone. Strain it and use it in the morning to smother your fried eggs with it. Yum!
Next up? Brie and Chocolate Quesadillas with Fig Jam. Oh, yay Baby!

How are you going to use your chocolate?

Until next time…
¡Buen Provecho!
Ani

The fine print: I received sample chocolates as part of the FoodBuzz Tastemakers program and directly from Ghirardelli.

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