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Cook it light: Serve rich mole sauce over turkey

SHARE Cook it light: Serve rich mole sauce over turkey

Mole, always considered a Mexican dish, actually originated with the Nahuatl people, a group of Indians living in southern Mexico and Central America. In fact, the word "mole" comes from their word "molli," meaning "concoction" in the Uto-Aztecan language they spoke.

Mole is a rich, cooked sauce that's usually served with poultry. It combines onions, garlic, tomatoes, chilies, aromatic seeds, peanut butter and a small amount of chocolate — its best-known ingredient. In Mexico, mole dishes are most frequently served for the midday meal, which is their largest meal of the day. This is due to the richness of the sauce and their very late dinner hour.


1 medium onion, finely chopped (1 1/2 cups)

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (2 teaspoons)

2 large tomatoes, or 3 small ones, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup raisins, finely chopped

1/3 cup chili powder

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted stock)

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground anise seed

1/4 cup unhomogenized smooth peanut butter

3 cups fat-free chicken broth

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 pounds julienne-cut cooked turkey breast

8 cilantro sprigs for garnish, optional

1. Cook onion and garlic, covered, over low heat, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent. Add a little water if necessary to prevent scorching. Add all other ingredients except the chicken broth, cilantro and turkey. Mix well and cook, uncovered, over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes.

2. Bring the chicken broth to a boil and add it to the mole sauce. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes, or until reduced in volume and slightly thickened. Stir in the chopped cilantro.

3. To serve, heat the turkey and pour 1/3 cup of the sauce over the top of each serving or chop the turkey, add it to the sauce and serve as you would a stew. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired. Makes 8 servings.

Each serving contains approximately: 238 calories; 7 gm fat; 46 mg cholesterol; 316 mg sodium; 15 gm carbohydrates; 31 gm protein; 3 gm fiber.

Dear Jeanne: Can you please help me with the fat in this recipe? It is delicious! — Evelyn Nigro, Gordonville, Pa.

Dear Evelyn: I know that putting cola in cake seems like it must do something special, but it really only adds liquid and sugar, so it's easy to replace it with some water (and cut a little of the sugar).

The marshmallows all melted into the cake just added more sugar, so I thought to get more of the fluffiness of the marshmallows, they should be added later. The new recipe is delicious, too, and it has almost one-third the fat!


2 1/3 cups flour

2 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup cola

2/3 cup butter

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

Cocoa icing:

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup cola

2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup chopped nuts

In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar and baking soda; set aside. In a medium saucepan, bring cola, butter and cocoa powder to a boil over medium heat. Add the hot mixture to the flour mixture; stir just until combined. Add eggs, buttermilk and vanilla; stir until combined. Gently stir in marshmallows (they will float on top). Pour cake batter into greased and floured 13-by-9-inch pan. Bake in a 350 F oven about 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Transfer cake in pan to wire rack. Immediately spread cocoa icing over cake. Thoroughly cool the cake on the rack. Cut into squares to serve.

To make icing: In a medium saucepan, bring the butter, cocoa and cola to a boil. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix with a wire whisk until smooth. Stir in 1 cup chopped nuts. Makes 16 servings.


2 1/3 cups flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup water

1/4 cup canola oil

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup buttermilk

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows


2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

3 tablespoons nonfat milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar

1/4 cup chopped nuts, toasted

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare a 9-by-13-inch pan by spraying with a nonstick cooking spray with flour (for baking), or sprinkle flour on the plain nonstick spray and knock off excess. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.

3. In a small saucepan, combine the water, canola oil and cocoa, and bring to a boil.

4. Pour the hot liquid into the flour mixture and stir to combine. Add the buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Stir to combine, and pour into the prepared pan.

5. Bake for about 25 minutes, add the marshmallows to the top and return to the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes, until done. Test by inserting a sharp knife into the center of the cake. It should come out clean.

6. For the frosting: In the same small saucepan, melt the butter with the cocoa and skim milk. Add the vanilla and the powdered sugar, and stir with a wire whisk to combine and remove any lumps. When the frosting is smooth, add the toasted nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds or macadamias). Pour the frosting over the cake. (It's OK if you don't cover every little bit and let the marshmallows peek through.) Cool it thoroughly on a rack. Cut into 16 squares to serve.

Each serving contains approximately: Original Recipe: 446 calories; 19 gm fat; 60 mg cholesterol; 235 mg sodium; 66 gm carbohydrates; 5 gm protein; 2 gm fiber. Revised Recipe: 270 calories; 7 gm fat; 28 mg cholesterol; 116 mg sodium; 49 gm carbohydrates; 4 gm protein; 1.5 gm fiber.

Jeanne Jones is a consultant on menu planning, recipes and new-product development for major hotels. © King Features Syndicate Inc.