The idea for Mole Crumble first came about when we were developing the episode for the Oaxacan Guelaguetza two summers ago. The idea was to make a dish that incorporated many of the flavors of mole, but in a simplified and deconstructed way, so that people could whip it up without any ceremony. Although Mole is supposed to be made for special occasions and requires a lot of time and dedication, I could not help but want to adapt it into an everyday thing. Enjoying the broken down concept of mole, and its rich flavors and textures, does not necessarily take away from the fancier occasions when a real mole is made from scratch. That is when Mole Crumble has its place.
Mole is one of the traditional dishes of Mexico. However, there are many types of mole; the city of Oaxaca has at least 7, and Puebla is famous for its namesake sauce. And within each of these types of mole, cooks improvise and add their own special touches. What I love about moles is the integration of nuts and seeds. Some add pine nuts or almonds, while others have pecans and pepitas. In traditional preparations of the sauce, those ingredients provide weight and thickness. My favorites are sesame, peanuts, and chocolate. I use those three for my mole crumble, because their flavors balance each other out, while providing a great texture to compliment many chile sauces.
I prepared this batch of Mole Crumble for the cooking class I presented the other day, and had this left over. I thought I would store it and save it to use as a topping for whatever occurs to me in the future. But then I thought I should photograph it and share it with all of you, becuase it is a really healthy way to add texture and color to a dish. To make a small batch, combine 2 T raw peanuts (roughly chopped), 2 T raw cacao nibs (roughly chopped), and 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds. This is a very visual combination, so if something looks off balance, simply adjust the quantities.