Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Pork Chops with Mock Mole Rub
Mole intimidates me. Love to love it, loathe to make it. Mole requires dozens of ingredients and lots of patience, fitting neatly into the category of "I'm not completely nuts yet, so I'll just leave this one to taquerias and restaurants."
Since mole is a labor of love that I avoid, I was pretty excited to see a simple idea for a mock mole rub in Food and Wine Magazine. Their recipe brines thick cut pork chops in a salt water and crushed red pepper bath. I added a bit of molasses to it, since I am fresh out of brown sugar.
The rub requires only a few items that most home cooks will have on hand: unsweetened cocoa powder, chile powder, brown sugar, and salt. The brined chops get coated with the spice rub and grilled over moderately high heat.
With so few ingredients, it would be silly to say that the chops tasted just like mole, but the smokey rich flavor certainly recalled it. Dinner came together quickly thanks to this rub, and I plan to elaborate on it, perhaps adding other mole elements like ground peanuts, and cumin, and cinnamon. I might just keep adding and experimenting until I get all the way to the real thing.