Love is in the air this week as we celebrate VALENTINE’S DAY on Swashbuckled! Marie brought in some traditional aphrodisiacs and foods associated with Valentine’s Day. Will Cupid strike with a successful meal this week?
Read on for episode breakdown
Ingredients in this week’s episode:
In a week of complete and total redemption, Cupid was on our side as we fell in LOVE with everything that was created this week.
First off, the mole that was made in about 45 minutes, as opposed to all day like authentic mole sauce. The flavors were strong and bold, like mole should be. In this recipe, I used 8 arbor chilis, which are on the spicy side. If you like less spice in your food, then go for half the amount. The key to the rich flavor is simmering the chilis, garlic, onions and other spices in chicken broth with the lid off, reducing the liquid and concentrating the flavor. Then it is all blended up with sweet and bold flavors of orange juice, apple sauce, and dark chocolate. This is an antioxidant rich dinner that is loaded with flavor that is sure to impress.
We used chicken thighs for this meal, but the mole sauce can make a great base for any other protein you like, or vegetables like potatoes (potato mole?? Sign me up!) I even used the leftover mole sauce to make an egg and mole breakfast burrito, and it was fantastic!
The brie polenta was a super fun side to make. Polenta is something that I can always prepare at the drop of a hat with ingredients in my pantry: Chicken Stock and Cornmeal. Beyond that, you can completely customize with spices that complement your meal and the cheese you have on hand.
Strawberries and avocado are always a really delicious combination, and turning it into a salsa was a no-brainer for me. I thought of a salad I make all the time from one of my favorite blogs, Two Peas and Their Pod that combines avocado and strawberry to a traditional caprese salad. It’s a bold choice that works really well, and the same flavors combine to make a great, refreshing salsa.
For fun, we also ate XOXO Gummy Candies ($2.99 per bag) and drank La Burgondie Cremant De Bourgogne ($9.99 per bottle) Champagne, which is Marie’s favorite.
Lastly, check out Trader Joe’s flowers as an affordable option this Valentine’s Day! There are some beautiful arrangements (everything from roses to sunflowers to orchids to tulips). Most of the flowers and plants sold at Trader Joe’s are less than $10, making it an affordable treat for the senses.
Strawberry Avocado Salsa
- 1/2 Onions, minced
- 1 Jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 1 Pint Strawberries, hulled and diced
- 2 Avocados, diced
- Juice of 1 Lemon or Lime (about 1 Tbsp)
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/4 Cup Cilantro, chopped
- Salt to taste
- Mince onion and jalapeno, dice strawberries and avocado. Add lemon juice, olive oil, cilantro and just a little bit of salt. Mix everything together and do a taste test to make sure you have enough salt.
- Serve with your favorite chips – We love the pita crackers or tortilla chips.
Speed Mole with Chicken Thighs and 'Basic' Brie Polenta
- 3 Cups Chicken Stock
- 4 Guajillo Chilis (dried)
- 4-8 Ancho Chilis* (dried)
- 15 oz Diced Tomatoes with Chilis
- 1/2 Onion, peeled sliced
- 4 Garlic Cloves, peeled and sliced
- 4 Smoked Oysters
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 Cup Orange Juice
- 1 Cup Applesauce
- 1 Goth Chocolate Bar
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper (about 1/4 tsp each)
- ‘Basic’ Brie Polenta:
- 4 Cups Chicken Stock
- 1 Cup Cornmeal
- .33 lb (about a half a cup) Brie Cheese
- In a medium size pot, over high heat, combine chicken broth, both kinds of dried chilis, canned tomatoes, onion, garlic, oysters, turmeric, salt, and cinnamon. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce to low and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes, until mixture has reduced by half.
- Blend chili mixture with 1 cup of orange juice and 1 cup applesauce. Return to pan and over medium-low heat, melt in unsweetened dark chocolate. In a separate pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Salt and pepper chicken thighs. Add onion slices to crisp up and brown Chicken Thighs for about 3-5 minutes each side. Add to mole sauce and continue to cook onions until they start to brown, then add to mole sauce. Cover and simmer on low for about 10-15 minutes, until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- Meanwhile, make polenta. Bring chicken stock to a boil over high heat. Slowly whisk in cornmeal and reduce to a simmer (medium low heat) until polenta starts to thicken. Continue to whisk every couple minutes for about 15 minutes.
- Remove polenta from heat and whisk in brie cheese. Serve immediately if you want polenta to be porridge-like. You could also pour the polenta into a dish and cool. Once cool, it will solidify and you can slice into your desired shape and pan fry or bake.
*Note Ancho chilis are more spicy than Guajillo chilis. If you like your food on the spicy side, use the full 8 Ancho chilis. If you like a more mild flavor, opt for 4.