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Salmon Filets with Mole Sauce


Chef Dario Pineda-Gutierrez,
Café Dario

Mole sauce is famously complex thanks to a lengthy ingredient list. However, the richness and bold flavour makes it well worth the effort. Mexican chocolate adds a hint of sweetness.

Ingredients
Salmon Filets
1 banana leaf, cut into four 10″ x 12″ rectangles
4 salmon filets
2 tomatoes, quartered
1 large white onion, julienned
2 jalapeños, seeded and sliced
1 red capsicum, sliced
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar
oil for frying
salt and pepper to taste
sugar for dusting

Mole Sauce
3 medium tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup pork lard
1/2 cup mulato chiles, stemmed & seeded
1/4 cup ancho chiles
1/4 cup pasilla chiles
4 garlic cloves
1/2 cup almonds, skin on
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp anise
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 slice firm white bread toasted dark
1 ripened plantain sliced
1 oz Mexican chocolate, chopped
4 Tbsp brown sugar
8 1/2 cups chicken broth
salt to taste

Method
Salmon Filets
1. Preheat oven to 425˚F.
2. Season salmon filets with salt and pepper. Dust with sugar.
3. In a frying pan coated with oil, sear both sides of salmon filet.
4. In frying pan, sauté capsicum, onion, tomatoes and jalapeños until slightly softened, 2-3 mins.
5. Place each filet on a banana leaf. Divide jalapeño mixture and cheese evenly among the filets. Wrap leaf to encase the salmon.
6. Bake in oven for 8 mins.
7. Cut an incision in banana leaf and add mole sauce.

Mole Sauce
1. Under oven broiler, roast tomatillos until blistered and soft. Scrape out juices and flesh into large bowl.
2. In a dry skillet, toast sesame and pumpkin seeds over medium heat until golden brown. Add to bowl.
3. In a large pot, add pork lard and warm over medium heat. Tear chiles into pieces and fry until interiors lighten in colour, about 30 secs. Remove chiles from lard and place in a second bowl. Cover with hot tap water and let sit for 1 hr.
4. In pot with pork lard, fry garlic and almonds for 5 mins. Add to bowl with tomatillos. Repeat process with raisins until they are puffed and brown, about 30-50 secs.
5. In a blender, purée chiles with 3 cups of water until smooth. Remove from blender and set aside.
6. Blend tomatillo mixture with 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock and all remaining ingredients except stock, salt and sugar. Purée until smooth and return to bowl.
7. In pot with pork lard, cook chile purée until mixture becomes dark and thick like tomato paste. Add tomatillo purée and continue cooking on medium low heat until mixture thickens, 35-40 mins.
8. Add remaining 7 cups of chicken stock and simmer on medium for 45 mins.
9. Season with salt and sugar.

Yield 4 servings

 

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