It was this dinner along our road trip from North Dakota to California that reignited my love of mole. I had reached out on Instagram for places to eat in Salt Lake City and decided to try the Red Iguana for dinner once we rolled into town.
“Their amazing moles are a must!” was all I needed to know. They have seven different moles that are always on the menu but the night we were there they were serving an eighth: strawberry mole. More specifically chicken crema enchiladas in strawberry mole. The mole was sweet, sure, but the sweetness was offset by a hidden spice and under layers of toasted nuts and caramelized onion. I added fruit mole to my list of things to do.
I have been intrigued by the yellow mole in Pati Jinich’s cookbook and wanted to incorporate it with a fruit mole using the fragrant, ripe peaches flooding the market right now. I spent half a day last week doing groundwork, reading everyone’s mole recipes from Enrique Olvera to Margarita Carrillo Arronte. Did you know that the mole served at Olvera’s restaurant Pujol is over 700 days old?!! He is taking the adage, better after it sits, to a whole new level.
For this mole I didn’t want to diminish the peach color or flavor with tomatoes or dried chiles so I hunted down all the yellow chiles I could find. White Jalapeños, also known as Jaloro Peppers or Yellow Jalapeños, are not as spicy as the green variety. Also sometime just called yellow peppers.
Hungarian Wax Peppers are also pretty mild. Fresh banana peppers make a good substitute.
Manzano Peppers are a sneaky bunch. They don’t seem spicy at first but they definitely pack a punch.
You can use a combination of any of these or any other yellow chiles you can find in your market. Yellow bell peppers would work too, but you will be lacking the spicy kick of these chiles.
Grilled peaches add a caramelized note to the mole, tomatillos for tartness, sesame seeds for body, clove and cinnamon for spice, cilantro for a hit of fresh, and onions and garlic for depth.
Once the mole is made you can do any number of things with it. I wanted to serve it with something grilled to celebrate summer and yellow mole with chicken and chayotes are a match made in heaven. Have you ever cooked with chayotes?
You can find them in the market with spines (let’s not get those) or without (easier). They taste a little bit like potato and a lot like zucchini and are marvelous on the grill. The skin is edible but can be kind of tough so I would peel them, rub with a little oil, salt, and pepper and grill until tender. Dip in lots of sweet, spicy, peach mole and repeat.