(Theguardian) – Grate them as you would nutmeg to give a bitter twang to a variety of Mexican dishes, including this mole sauce
Avocado stones are an intriguing addition to the spice rack, and can be grated, much like nutmeg, to give a bitter twang. They’re also thought to contain nutrients that help lower cholesterol, as well as antioxidant properties, but take such claims with a pinch of salt: scientific studies are still in their early stages.
Mole is a flavourful Mexican sauce with 25-35 ingredients, and avocado leaves feature in many recipes. Instead, try a grating of avocado stone, to balance the sweetness. Usually served with meat, it’s also lovely in tacos with crushed avocado.
Mole is sublime, delicious and ultimately satisfying. Using a variety of dried Mexican chillies will bring authenticity and a depth of flavour. They can be bought online and in large supermarkets. That said, the sauce will taste great even with only a regular jalapeño or scotch bonnet, but be careful if yours are super-hot. Serve mole simply with tortillas, with fried jackfruit, or in tacos with mashed avocado and a squeeze of lime. Once cooked, the mole will keep in the fridge for a week or even longer.
Prep 10 min
Cook 40 min
1 tbsp each almonds, walnuts, raisins, pumpkin and sesame seeds
1 allspice berry
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
4 dried Mexican chillies (a mixture of ancho, mulato, chilhuacle, guajillo), deseeded and stemmed
1 small shallot
8 cloves garlic
110g green pepper
1 piece toasted stale bread
1 tsp dried thyme
1 pinch ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
Oil (corn, canola or rapeseed), for frying
1 tbsp brown sugar
40g Oaxacan chocolate (or dark chocolate)
1 tsp grated avocado seed (optional)
Salt and black pepper
Put the almonds, walnuts, raisins, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, clove, allspice, cinnamon and bay in an ovenproof dish and roast at 210C (190C fan)/410F/gas 6½ for five minutes. Add the chillies and roast for three minutes more. Put the chillies in a bowl and add boiling water to cover. Put the toasted nuts, raisins and seeds to one side, having removed the spices.
Put a griddle pan on a medium-high flame, then dry-fry the shallot, garlic, green pepper and fresh tomatoes, turning occasionally, until slightly blackened. Take off the heat, leave to cool, then peel the shallot and garlic.
Remove the chillies from their water and blend to a very smooth paste with the shallot, garlic, green pepper, tomatoes, toasted nuts, raisons and seeds, toasted bread, thyme, ginger and nutmeg, adding a little chilli water if need be.
Heat a large saucepan with a glug of oil over a medium flame. When hot, fry the paste for 10 minutes, stirring often. To finish, add 150ml chilli soaking water, the sugar and chocolate, bring to a boil, season to taste with a grating of avocado seed, salt and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes more and serve.