Romeritos in Mole

Here in Mexico, this dish is particularly popular in December, March and April. During these months, it’s very easy to find romeritos, a wild plant which has sprigs somewhat resembling rosemary, but which has a delicate taste closest to that of baby spinach. If you can’t find romeritos where you are, you can substitute fresh baby spinach, although the final presentation might look a bit different. Other versions of this dish feature dried prawn patties, but we’ve made it a little simpler here by just including dried prawns. Enjoy this traditional dish from Central Mexico!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. Small Potatoes
  • 1 lb. Peapods
  • 1 lb. Green Beans
  • 2 Cups Nopal (Prickly Pear Cactus) Leaves, chopped
  • 1 to 2 lbs. Romeritos (Fresh Baby Spinach may be substituted)
  • 1/2 lb. Pre-made Mole Paste
  • 100 grams Whole Almonds
  • 100 grams Sesame Seeds, toasted
  • 100 grams Powdered Chocolate or 1 Tablet Abuelita Brand Chocolate
  • 2 Tablespoons Powdered Chicken Bouillon
  • 300 grams Dried Prawns
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive or Vegetable Oil

Directions:

Boil the potatoes until tender, drain, and set aside to cool.

Once the potatoes have cooled, remove the skins, and cut into halves.

Steam or boil the peapods until cooked through. Drain and cool, but reserve the water.

When the peapods have cooled, remove the peas and discard the pods.

Steam the green beans until done, then set aside to cool. Again, reserve the water.

Once the green beans have cooled, coarsely chop them.

Boil or steam the chopped nopal cactus until tender, then set aside. Reserve the water.

Season the romeritos (or baby spinach) lightly with salt and simmer until softened. Drain and reserve the water.

Break up the mole paste into smaller pieces using your hand.

Measure out and prepare the almonds, toasted sesame seeds, and chocolate.

To make chicken broth, add the chicken bouillon powder to 1 quart of the water reserved from the steamed peapods, green beans, nopal, and romeritos. If you don’t have enough reserved water, just add fresh hot water. Meanwhile, measure out  and prepare the dried prawns.

Remove the heads and tails from the prawns and peel them.

Set aside the prawns.

Place the heads, tails, skins and about 2 cups of water in a small saucepan set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer 10 minutes.

Pour this mixture into a blender and combine until smooth. Then strain the purée through a sieve to remove any fragments.

Pour this strained mixture back into the blender and add the mole, almonds, sesame seeds, chocolate, and 2 cups of the chicken broth. Blend until smooth. Pour this into a large pot containing the 2 tablespoons of oil and set over medium-high heat. “Rinse” the blender with the remaining chicken broth and pour it into the pot.

Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add the prawns and reduce heat to low.

Cover and simmer about 15 minutes, stirring often. Add an additional cup of water so the sauce is not too thick, and stir to mix well. Then add the steamed chopped green beans to the mole sauce.

Add the peas.

Add the chopped and steamed nopal cactus.

Top with the steamed romeritos.

Add the skinned and halved potatoes and mix to combine well. Remove from heat.

Serve with fresh bread, such as Telera or French bread – great for mopping up the mole!

Buen Provecho!

Recipe Posted by Lindsay

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