Tuesday, October 23, 2007

TGRWT #7: Roasted Cauliflower and Chicken Mole

This month's TGRWT event, hosted by Flavor Alchemy, is a challenge indeed. The rules are to pair carmelized cauliflower with cocoa! See the roundup here.

Roasted cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetables. I always make it the same way: drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with freshly cracked black pepper and several generous scrapes of nutmeg, baked at 350*F until it looks like this. Then salt.

So instead of just snarfing the roasted cauliflower, I used it to make Roasted Cauliflower and Chicken Mole.

Roasted Cauliflower and Chicken Mole

1 28-ounce can peeled tomatoes
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (I buy them in a bag this way in the baking aisle)
olive oil
1/4 cup roughly chopped onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and ribs removed, roughly chopped
1/3 cup sesame seeds
2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chicken broth or stock
1 pound chicken, poached and torn into bite-sized pieces
2 cups roasted cauliflower

1. Toast pecan pieces in a dry skillet over medium heat to toast. Do not scorch. Transfer toasted pecans to crock pot.

2. In the same skillet over medium heat, saute onion in olive oil until just starting to become transparent. Add chopped garlic and saute until frangrant. Remove from heat and transfer to crock pot.

3. Add tomatoes, toasted pecans, onion, garlic, jalapenos, sesame seeds and chipotle peppers to the crock pot with the pecans, onion and garlic; puree with a hand blender (or you could do this in a regular blender in batches). Stir in cocoa, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and black pepper.

4. Add chicken broth and set crock pot on high. Stir in cooked chicken and roasted cauliflower. Cook for three hours. Serve hot over steamed brown rice.

The result? Good...

In all fairness, I've never tried mole before. I enjoyed the smoky combination of flavors and the gentle heat. I could absolutely see it as a sauce over shredded pork or chicken enchiladas.

But I don't think I'll add cauliflower next time. The fact is that I love roasted cauli all by itself. And the mole was good by itself. But together it took on a whole other personality--the perfectly roasted flavor of the cauliflower disappeared into the stew.

Don't get me wrong--I ate it. And liked it. I enjoy cauliflower in all forms, but the roasted nature of the vegetable was lost in this recipe.

1 comment:

papin.c said...

Thanks for participating on TGRWT #7. The other entries with caramelized cauliflower and cocoa will be posted in the round-up.

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