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The Marinate Blogging Challenge: Week 1 FAMILY

The 1st week challenge of The Marinate is FAMILY.

I grew up in Mexican household, where my mother stayed home and took care of us, while my dad worked. I was taught by my parents that I “can have ANYTHING I want and BE anything I want” so I longed for nothing growing up.

I felt safe in my home. I was surrounded by family. Music played all day long. It was a very happy upbringing. 

My cousins and I grew up together. We ere all about 1-2 years apart. We played in our living room “fort” (you know taking the blankets and securing them with vases, books, anything and just bunker moving though each of the blanket tunnels). We also built puzzles or played free tag outside while our parents, who were avid card players, got together and cooked really great food, ate, and just celebrated life.  

My family memories are pretty awesome.

One of my favorite dishes of all time is Chicken Mole and Frijoles de la Olla.

I remember coming home from school, week by week and my mother was cooking it for us. “Omg, Chicken Mole! Mama” I would exclaim, for she knew it was my favorite.

My home always smelled so good on those mole days. She used chiles that were dry roasted and steeped in the hot chicken broth. Chocolate disks, like the abuelita brand from Mexico (filled with brown sugar molasses and cinnamon called piloncillo) would just float and evaporate into the broth and create layers upon layers of flavors.

Traditionally, Mole is made with lots of ingredients and takes a lot of hours and sometimes days to make. My mother and my aunts would make this dish regularly growing up, so this is something that is so near and dear to my heart.  

To this day, I can remember the fragrant scents that perfumed the kitchen of my childhood home. Anytime I think of it, it makes me so happy.

Enrique Olvera is one of my favorite Mexico City Chef's and was recently named Top 50 Best in the World. He has the best mole ever at his restaurant, Pujol. .

Check out the Video: 

Side Note: My mother, (I came to find out) stopped making it this way somewhere along the line and used the already made paste, Dona Maria and added peanut butter that was swirled in at the end to make it creamy and shiny.

Every Mexican household that I know makes mole. Everyone made it in the neighborhood I grew up in. I remember wondering if “everyone I know eats this well” and of course they did; I lived in a Mexican neighborhood. I know this dish was a staple.

This dish takes me back to a happy place. (Listen to Audio).

The Marinate Challenge this week provided me with 3 Ingredients to use for my FAMILY inspired dish.

1.       Maple Water from Drink Maple

2.       Dried Chiles- (They seemed to be chile rojo or colorados, new mexico maybe)

3.       Bean Soup Mix- A batch of lentils, red kidney, pinto, black, and navy bean)

I knew by these ingredients that I would create a riff on my favorite dish- Chicken Mole y Frijoles de la Olla.

I learned to make this dish from scratch many, many years ago, so I knew that maple water would be the perfect base to reconstitute the dry chiles.

The sweetness in the water would play well with the other ingredients that I could use, like Chinese 5 Spice (which carries many of the notes that a traditional mole uses, but all combined into one).

I also added annatto seeds, smoked paprika, pepitas and sesame seeds to make the paste. All of these ingredients I had readily available in my pantry. 

The bean mix was pretty straightforward for me. I decided to use my homemade vegetable stock and make a bean soup AKA frjoles de la olla that my dad absolutely loved to have along side his mole.  

Off to work I went with this challenge to recreate my favorite childhood dish and the result of the riff was really good.

Check out the steps and the recipe for this dish below:

 The end result of this dish was absolutely knock you socks off!" I think my mom and dad would be really proud of this dish, in fact I don't think they would know that I made it from just a few ingredients.

What a fun idea! 

Note: The dried chiles provided a lot of heat- so use less than I did, maybe half or just swirl in another chocolate disk or another 1/4 cup of peanut butter (allergies, use a seed butter).

FYI---- Don't forget to Vote for my picture online so we can both win a prize from the Marinate on Monday!

I hope you enjoyed this story and this challenge post.

Until Next Week,  Happy Cooking,


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