In my new book now titled Pagan Bones, Buck McDivit is involved with a murder investigation, cattle theft and a mysterious shape-shifting black panther. He also becomes the only male participant in a pagan spring revel.
In the book, Buck enlists the help of his best friend, Trey Calderham. Trey is an agent for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, a private agency that has the authority to make arrests in both Texas and Oklahoma. Yes, there really is such an agency.
Trey’s new lady love, Beth O’Hara, is one of Buck’s old flames. Beth owns a restaurant, the Azure Pendant, in the eclectic Paseo District of Oklahoma City. When Buck pays them a visit, she cooks an amazing New Mexican dinner.
Here is a recipe for the excellent dish that I found on the web at www.SantaFeSchoolofCooking.com. What is mole? Check out the very interesting website and find out. I’m still working on the cover, but here is a mock-up until I get there. My good friend Dave Beatty is working on a full moon picture for me.
Roast Pork Loin with Red Chile Peanut Mole
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
2 teaspoons freshly toasted cumin seeds
2 teaspoons freshly toasted coriander seeds
4 to 5 pound boneless, center-cut pork loin
3 tablespoons olive oil
Grind all spices in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle. Rub the spice mixture over the surface of the pork loin. Wrap the loin in plastic and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours.
1. Preheat the oven to 375°.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Sear the pork on all sides until browned. Transfer to a foil-lined baking sheet and roast in the oven until the internal temperature reads 160°, about 1-1/2 hours. Allow the pork to rest for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing.
Red Chile-Peanut Mole
12 dried Ancho chiles
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 unpeeled garlic cloves, roasted, then peeled
4 large, ripe tomatoes, roasted, then peeled
3/4 cup dry roasted peanuts
1/3 cup toasted sliced almonds
1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds, ground to a powder in a spice grinder
1 or 2 teaspoons espresso powder, or to taste
1 to 2 teaspoons each freshly ground cumin, coriander, canela and allspice, or to taste
4 tablespoons lard or olive oil
Salt to taste
Chipotle chile powder to taste
1. In a preheated skillet over medium, press the chiles, 3 or 4 at a time, onto the bottom of the pan until fragrant and pliable. Be careful not to burn them. Remove the stems and tear the softened flesh into large pieces, removing the seeds that stick to the flesh. Soak the chile pieces in hot water for 30 minutes, until softened.
2. In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a small skillet and sauté the onion until softened. Place the sautéed onion, the garlic cloves and the tomatoes in a blender and puree. Pour mixture into a bowl and set aside. Return 1 cup of this mixture to the blender and add the peanuts, almonds and sesame seed powder. Puree, adding a little of the tomato liquid, if necessary. Combine the puréed tomato mixture and the peanut mixture, and add the espresso powder and spices.
3. Drain the chiles, reserving the soaking liquid. Place the chile pieces in a blender and add 1/2 cup of the soaking liquid, or more if needed. Puree until thoroughly blended. Add the chile puree to the other purees and stir to combine thoroughly.
4. In a large saucepan, heat the lard. When it is hot, add the puree all at once. You may want to use the lid of the pan as a shield, as the liquid will splatter. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, season with salt and chipotle chile powder, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until you have a sauce with the consistency of thick cream.