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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Mole isn't just Mexican = there are Asian kinds and more

I have always thought that moles are traditionally only those made with chocolate. When I found out, the mole is really the chilies and the spices. Mexican ones have chocolate but there are so many more. I've been to Ming Tsai's restaurant near Newton, Mass, and it was fabulous.
His food and recipes always get me so excited. Today I saw on his TV program ones that I have froom his book Ming's Master Recipes. But a couple on the TV program were from his TV series from the past which you can find at his website at

Ming Tsai recipes

This one looked good as it uses Duck but I am sure you can substitute chicken as I do often. I won't be able to try this recipe yet and its Asian mole in it, but I wanted to spread the word now about it. If you make it before you do, send me some of you feedback. Thanks

Duck Breasts With Asian Mole and Jicama-Haricots Salad
Guest Recipe:
Duck Breasts
With Asian Mole and Jicama-Haricots Salad

by Chef Ted Allen

Serves 4

* 1/3 cup olive oil
* 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
* 1 tablespoon minced shallot
* 1 teaspoons Dijon mustard
* 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
* 1/2 teaspoon sugar
* 1/2 pound haricots verts
* 1/2 pound piece jicama
* 2 duck breasts, about 1 pound each
* 1/2 cup Asian Mole Sauce, warmed (see below)
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* Canola oil for cooking

1. Combine first 6 ingredients to make vinaigrette.
2. Peel and cut jicama into slices about 1/4-inch thick. Stack slices on a cutting board and cut into sticks.
3. Heat water to boiling and blanch beans until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.
4. In a medium bowl, toss beans and jicama with 1/4 cup of lemon vinaigrette (you can set this aside to marinate for about 30 minutes or use right away).
5. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Lay the duck breasts on a cutting board and season both sides with salt and pepper. Using a paring knife, make diagonal slashes through the skin about half an inch apart, taking care not to cut into the flesh. Put the duck breasts into the hot pan, skin-side down, and cook until the fat is rendered and the skin is browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Use a splatter screen if you have one because the breasts render a lot of fat.
6. About halfway through the cooking, use a ladle or baster to remove most of the fat from the pan. Turn the breasts and cook to barely medium rare, about 8 to 10 minutes.
7. Remove the breasts to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Season each breast with a pinch of salt and pepper, cut breasts into thin slices, and fan them out on 4 serving plates.
8. Top with warm Asian Mole Sauce and arrange Jicama-Haricots Salad alongside.

>>This recipe appears in Episode #401.

>> For additional recipes and more, visit www.ming.com

Asian Mole

Ming says: Mexico has given us so many wonderful foods, but one of my favorites is mole, a thick blend of onion, garlic, different chiles, and ground seeds that varies from region to region. When I first cooked with it, I discovered it was a natural for Asian flavorings as well.

Makes 2 cups

* 2 large onions, chopped
* 1/4 cup garlic, chopped
* 1/4 cup ginger, chopped
* 4 serrano chiles, chopped
* 1 cup red wine
* 1 cup dried cranberries
* 1/2 cup water
* 1 tablespoon minced thyme
* 3 tablespoons toasted black sesame seeds
* 1/4 pound dark unsweetened chocolate, chopped
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* Canola oil for cooking

In a large sauté pan coated lightly with oil over medium-high heat, sauté shallots, garlic, ginger and chiles until caramelized. Deglaze with red wine, scarping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add cranberries and water and reduce by half. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. With blender running, add thyme, sesame seeds and gradually add chocolate. Check again for flavor and season if necessary.

To make Asian Mole Sauce, use a 1:1 ratio of mole to chicken stock.

>>Use this Master Recipe in Duck Breasts with Asian Mole and Jicama-Haricots Salad by guest Chef Ted Allen.

>>This recipe appears in Episode #401.

>> For additional recipes and more, visit www.ming.com

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