Special to Valley News
“What does Frida Kahlo mean to you?” is the question I get asked quite often. Maybe it is because I dedicated a whole blue wall to Frida Kahlo at my restaurant? Or maybe they want a little insight into who I am?
Here is a bit of what she might mean to others. At the age of six, she contracted polio, making her leg fragile and she had it amputated in her later years when she contracted gangrene. When she was 18 years, she suffered a horrific accident. She was traveling home from school, when her trolley crashed and a pole went straight through her spinal column breaking it in three places, crushing her pelvis into pieces, keeping her from ever having a child and causing her chronic pain for the rest of her life. Frida Kahlo was determined to live a normal life regardless of her disabilities. For people with disabilities, she represents hope and persistence.
She also expressed the inequality of women through her paintings and was openly bi-sexual. Her rebellious spirit challenged social and political standards are still present today. I believe she just lived her life, acted and took measures the only the way she knew how. She was a trailblazer for the feminist movement and the LGBT community.
I struggle with this question, “What does Frida Kahlo mean to you?” because she is so much more to me than just a simple answer. She is all these things and more. I have lived and loved passionately, though I’m not quite as adventurous as Frida, I feel compelled to live my life the best I can.
My language of love is servitude and with that I cook to serve. When I’m the happiest, I cook. And when I want to show you that I love you, we feast.
Diego loved her mole and was obsessed with it. On my visit to their Blue House in Coyocan, they had the family recipe on the wall in their kitchen. I’m sharing it with you today. Make yourself a little feast and love someone unconditionally today.
Mole Poblano (10 Servings)
- 250 g (1/2 pound) mulato chilies, remove veins and seeds
- 350 g (3/4 pound) pasilla chilies, remove veins and seeds
- 350 g (3/4 pound) ancho chilies, remove veins and seeds
- 250 g (1/2 pound) lard
- 3 medium-sized cloves of garlic, peeled
- 2 medium-sized onions, diced
- 2 hard tortillas broken into pieces
- ½ dried bolillo, similar to a French bread roll
- 60 g (2 ounces) raisins
- 125 g (1/4 pounds) almonds
- 6 tablespoons pepitas de calabaza or pumpkin seeds
- 125 g (1/4 pound) sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon of anise
- 2 cloves
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
- 3 tablets of Mexican chocolate or to taste
- 150 g (1/3 pound) tomatoes, peeled and diced
- Salt and sugar to taste
1 large turkey cut into pieces and cooked in a soup made with carrots, leek, onion, a stick of celery, parsley and a clove of garlic; turkey can be substituted with four chickens
Heat 150 grams (1/3 pound) of the lard and quickly saute the chilies. Transfer them to a ceramic pot with boiling water to soften them.
In the same lard, saute the garlic and onion until golden brown. Add the tortillas, bread, raisins, almonds, pumpkin seeds and half the sesame seeds, the anise, cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, chocolate and tomatoes and saute them well. Add the drained chilies and saute a few more seconds. Put the entire mixture in a blender with the turkey broth and strain it.
In a large ceramic pot, heat the rest of the lard. Add the sauce and allow the mole sauce to boil for 5 minutes, season with salt and sugar. It should be a little sweet. Add more broth if necessary; it should be a thick sauce. Let it boil for 20 to 25 minutes over a low flame. Add the cooked turkey pieces, and let it boil for five minutes more.
Serve it in the same pot with the rest of the sesame seeds toasted and sprinkled on top.