Home Cooking 11

Mole Chile Mystery: Chihuacle? "Oaxacan"?

alias wade | Apr 2, 200810:24 AM

About to dive into mole-making, trying out a published recipe for Cafe Poca Cosa's red (http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs...). But problems abound.
Problem one: The recipe calls for chihuacle chiles (alt. sp.: "chilhuacle"). I presume this means chihuacle rojos (as opposed to neros), but still, these are hard to find outside Oaxaca. Were this a black mole I could (it seems) substitute anchos for the chihuacle neros. But is there a good substitute for chihuacle rojos?
Second problem: The recipe also calls for pasilla chiles, but I find (The Food and Life of Oaxaca, Z. Martinez) that in Oaxaca "pasilla" doesn't mean what it means elsewhere in Mexico. In Oaxaca, it seems, "pasillas" are smoked. Now, it just so happens that I have in my possession some chiles I bought on a lark in Tucson a couple of months ago. They are labeled "Oaxacan Chili" (sic). Are they actually the Oaxacan pasillas? Could they be chihuacles? (I called the store-- answering machine.) I hope there's some wisdom out there-- neither Google nor my not insubstantial library have been much help!

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