Inside The Dish: La Esquina’s Mole Negro

Dana deLaski, La Esquina
Photo Credit: Dana deLaski

In terms of Mexican food, mole might be the most daunting thing you could attempt to make. Unlike some other Mexican dishes, you can’t just top it with avocado and call it a day. It takes time, a lot of ingredients, and getting it right is a labor of love. So with that in mind you might be wondering why on Earth we’d suggest you try and make it, especially since we know New Yorkers aren’t always down to spend much time in the kitchen.

But if you’ve ever had the mole at La Esquina you’ll know exactly why we’re suggesting you make it, because it’s freaking incredible. It does require a ton of ingredients, it does take 2 days to make properly, and yes, it’s dark brown and looks less than appetizing. For a food this ugly to be one of our favorite dishes it’s gotta be damn good, and it is. So go for it, make mole from scratch, because we’re giving you the recipe and making it as easy as it will ever be.

So here it is: La Esquina’s mole negro from chef Adrian Ramirez himself. And if you’re really down to go balls to the walls, pair this dish with guac from The Black Ant and jerk corn from Miss Lily’s and you’ll have yourself the meal of a lifetime.

what you'll need

1. Roasted white onions: 6oz

2. Roasted garlic: 6 0z

3. Roasted plum tomatoes: 8 oz

4. Roasted green tomatillo: 8 oz

5. Prunes: 6 oz  

6. Dried chile de arbol: 2 pieces

7. Mexican crackers aka Galletas Marias

8. Toasted sesame seeds: 1 oz

9. Toasted peanuts: 4 oz

10. Toasted almonds: 4oz

11. Toasted hazelnuts: 4oz

12. Cloves: 1/2 oz

13. Whole black peppercorn: .05 oz

14. Chicken stock or water: 3 quarts

15. Toasted mexican cinnamon: 2oz

16. Mexican vanilla bean: 2 pieces

17. Mexican chocolate abuelita: 1 piece

18. Organic Mexican cane sugar: 250 g

19. Avocado leaves: 6 pieces

20. Dried pasilla negro de Oaxaca: 1 oz

21. Dried chile morita: 1 oz

22. Dried chile guajillo: 1 oz

23. Dried chile ancho: 1 oz

24. Dried chile mulato: 1 oz

**Chef Ramirez says these ingredients aren’t as hard to find as you might think. You’ve probably just never looked before. Any Spanish grocery store will have them, and you can even find a good amount in Whole Foods or your nearest bodega.

Dana deLaski, La Esquina

Photo Credit: Dana deLaski

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