created: 2004-08-22 13:41:47
A very learned scholar of Prehispanic cooking told me that “real” pastel Azteca doesn’t include either mole or cheese, as both were foreign to the indigenous tribes populating Mesoamerica before the Spaniards arrival. I say thanks for the history lesson, but just about everything’s better with mole and cheese. A childhood favorite of many a middle class Mexican, it’s not light, but it is tasty. Serve with a salad, some white rice, and a nice white wine (I'm thinking Pinot Grigio, but I'm currently in a wine-challenged country so maybe a Chardonnay).
½ -1 bottle of Dona Maria Mole (it’s like a thick paste look for it in the Mexican food section) 2 c. chicken stock or broth ¼ lb. – 1/2 lb Manchego cheese or Monterey jack 12-24 corn tortillas corn or vegetable oil shredded cooked chicken equivalent to the meat of one chicken* 2 zucchini sliced into rounds 2 tomatoes sliced into rounds ½ onion sliced into strips. 1. Fry the mole paste in its own oil for a few minutes. (when you open the bottle you’ll see the oil on top, like natural peanut butter). Add the chicken stock and a pinch of salt. Stir with a fork or a whisk to break up the mole paste and simmer for five minutes. Set aside. 2. Lightly fry the tortillas in a little oil. Approx. 30-45 seconds per side. Drain on paper towels. 3. In a baking dish spread two tablespoons of mole to cover. On top put a layer of tortillas (if you’re using a square baking dish this would be four; a rectangular dish would fit eight) 4. On top of the tortillas put a layer of chicken, onion, zucchini, and tomato slices. Cover with as much mole as you like and top with a layer of grated cheese. Repeat steps 3 and 4. 5. Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees. Serve like lasagna. You can also add carrots or whatever else strikes your fancy (or is in the fridge begging to be used up) to the basic chicken, mole, and cheese combination. * Even tastier with roasted chicken.