Archive for Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Spice up turkey with Mexican sauce

November 19, 2003

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Mole (molay) for the holiday does not quite rhyme, but taste-wise it's a cheering refrain. It's certainly in tune with current seasoning styles, given our fondness for heightened flavor, including Mexican influences.

Consider serving mole, the rich and spicy Mexican sauce, with turkey for a memorable Thanksgiving dish. Not the least advantage of this is that diners can ladle on the succulent bird as much or as little of the sauce as they wish.

Holiday Turkey With Mole Sauce

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1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed

1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper

1/4 teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper

14- to 16-pound turkey, thawed if frozen

1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves

4 limes, cut in half

Nonstick cooking spray

Mole Sauce (recipe follows)

Heat oven to 325 degrees.

Stir together salt, garlic powder, oregano, red pepper and black pepper in small dish.

To prepare turkey, remove neck and giblets from body and neck cavities. Drain juices and dry turkey with paper towels. Turn wings back to hold neck skin in place. Place turkey, breast side up, on flat rack in shallow roasting pan. Place cilantro and limes in body cavity. Spray turkey with cooking spray. Sprinkle turkey with seasoning mixture.

Roast turkey in oven about 3 1/2 hours or until thigh is 180 degrees on a meat thermometer. Cover breast and top of drumsticks with foil after 2 hours to prevent overcooking of breast. When done, let turkey stand at least 15 minutes before carving. Serve with Mole Sauce.

Makes 14 servings.

Mole Sauce

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2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup chopped onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground ancho chili pepper

15-ounce can tomato sauce

4-ounce can diced green chilies

1/2 cup water

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter

1/2 ounce unsweetened chocolate, cut into pieces

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook and stir five minutes or until tender. Add oregano, cinnamon, red pepper and chili pepper; cook and stir one minute more.

Place tomato sauce, green chilies and onion mixture in blender container and blend until smooth. Return tomato mixture to saucepan. Add water, salt, brown sugar, peanut butter and chocolate. Bring to a simmer over low heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring several times.

Makes 2 1/2 cups.

Timesaving tip: Sauce may be made 1 or 2 days before serving. Store in refrigerator.

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