Sizzling Mushroom and Smoky Chocolate Mole Tacos
If you've never shredded a mushroom, don't look away, it's easier than it sounds. Take two forks and use one to pierce a mushroom in the centre of the narrow stalk. Use the other fork to tear strands of the mushroom away, so one mushroom gives about 8-10 strands. Refer to the picture below.
Don't be put off by the Mole cooking time - it gives the flavours time to mingle and can be made up to 3 days in advance and reheated. Having something on the stove to stir occasionally is very mindful and a purposeful kind of procrastination when you can't be bothered to respond to an email straight away/hang the laundry/hoover the living room - or is that just me?
for the Mole
2 tbsps neutral oil, such as vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 fresh bay leaves
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 dried ancho chillies, soaked in warm water for 1 hour
2 jarred, roasted red peppers, roughly chopped
1 400g tin black beans, drained and rinsed
30g dark chocolate, finely chopped
50ml coconut cream
salt & pepper
For the mushrooms
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons Gran Luchito chipotle honey (or use 1 tbsp chipotle paste mixed with 2 tbsps runny honey)
1 tbsp Apple Cider vinegar
3 garlic cloves, crushed
350g oyster mushrooms, shredded
small bunch spring onions, finely sliced
leaves from a small bunch coriander
sour cream, to serve (or use vegan creme fraîche
1 lime, cut into wedges
12 corn tacos, to serve
Start with the Mole. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onions along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Fry, stirring regularly over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the garlic, bay leaves, tomato paste, and spices and turn the heat down to low for 5 minutes to toast the spices until fragrant. Drain the chillies, remove the stalk and finely chop them. Add to the pan with the peppers, beans, dark chocolate and 400ml water. Season with salt and pepper.
Cook the Mole over a low-medium heat for an hour, topping up with a little water occasionally if the pan looks dry. By this time the flavour will be really complex and rich.
While the Mole is cooking, prepare the mushrooms. Mix the oil, chipotle honey, apple cider vinegar, garlic and 1/2 a teaspoon of salt in a mixing bowl together to combine. Toss the shredded mushrooms into the mixture to coat. Set aside to marinade for half an hour.
Preheat the oven to 220C. Arrange the marinated mushrooms in a single layer on a large, parchment, or silicone mat-lined baking sheet (the pan will get sticky - so this will save you some frustration washing up later). Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, opening the oven 3 times during the cooking time to release the steam and help the mushrooms to roast and crisp. Remove the mushrooms when they have crispy edges in places and are sizzling all over. Lift onto a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain away excess oil. Keep warm while you prepare the rest.
Remove the bay leaves from the black beans (or leave them in if you can't find them, but they can be tough) .Blitz the black bean pan with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth. Taste and add more salt and pepper according to your preference, remembering that there will be acidity from fresh lime when you serve the tacos. Transfer to a warm bowl and ripple through the coconut cream.
Heat the tacos in a dry pan, until crisp in places, or over a flame on the hob (my preferred method for the added element of danger). Keep warm in a clean tea towel.
Pile the tacos on the table and serve each with a spoonful of Mole, some sizzling mushrooms and a swoop of sour cream. Top with spring onions and coriander, and lime wedges for squeezing over.
Thank you to Sunday General for inviting me to choose some of the ingredients for this recipe from their shop.