Mole Verde, or just "Verde" for short, is the lightest and freshest-tasting of Oaxaca's "seven moles." Fresh herbs (rather than spice accents) are what distinguish mole verde -- a puree of green herbs has to be added at the last minute.
8 whole cloves, or 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
3 jalapeÑo chiles
6 large tomatillos, husks removed
1 small onion, cut into chunks
5 garlic cloves
2 fresh thyme sprigs
2 fresh marjoram sprigs
6 cups chicken or pork stock
1 cup (8 ounces) fresh masa, or 6 tablespoons masa harina mixed to a smooth
paste with 1 cup water
1 medium-size bunch flat-leaf parsley
Eight 6-inch sprigs of fresh epazote or 1/4 cup crumbled dried epazote
3 large or 5 medium fresh hoja santa leaves, or 5 dried leaves
How to Make It
In an electric coffee grinder or spice mill, or in a mortar, grind the whole cloves and cumin together. In a blender combine the ground spices with the chiles, tomatillos, onion, garlic, thyme, marjoram, and 1/2 cup of the stock. Blend on high until smooth, about 2 minutes. 2. Put the remaining stock in a large saucepan and bring to a boil; adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Add the puréed mixture to the hot stock and cook for 3 minutes.
Thin the masa by mixing it with 1 cup water. Whisk the thinned masa into the sauce and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. Cook uncovered over low heat for 10 minutes, whisking occasionally. If lumps form, strain the sauce through a medium-mesh sieve, pushing with a spoon to force the lumpy bits through. The sauce should thicken to the consistency of whipping cream; if necessary, raise the heat slightly to reduce and thicken it.
Put the parsley, epazote and hoja santa in a blender or food processor; if using a blender, add a few tablespoons of water to facilitate blending. Process until smooth. Add the puree to the sauce and bring back to a simmer. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
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