Food Finds - Zocalo's homemade mole

Mole is notoriously labor-intensive. When prepared correctly, however, mole is one of the most satisfying sauces in Mexican cuisine. Most people use family recipes handed down from generation to generation. Others – some restaurants included – resort to pre-made pastes such as the ubiquitous brand Dona Maria. So finding a homemade version from the folks at Zocalo is a true treasure for those of us who want to prepare classic mole dishes at home.

The 15-year-old restaurant sells the red and green versions of its mole along with other homemade salsas – such as salsa verde and arbol salsa – at local farmers markets and select gourmet food stores. Owners Luis and Sonia Martinez prepare the moles and the other salsas according to an old family recipe using fresh ingredients and no preservatives. The mole has all the right hints of heat, earth and sweetness.

One of the most traditional uses for mole is to pour it over roasted turkey, poached chicken or enchiladas. It's also wonderful as a tamale filling when mixed with shredded chicken. You don't have to get fancy, though. Mole is just as good slathered over creamy scrambled eggs. My favorite vehicle for the heady sauce is chilaquiles – a breakfast dish that's perfect for using up old tortillas. Top them with some pickled red onions, chopped cilantro, and crumbled queso fresco and you've got a seriously hearty start to your day.

$5 per 8 oz. container. Available at Peachtree Road Farmers Market, Decatur Farmers Market and other metro Atlanta farmers markets. Find other locations near you or order the salsas for delivery at www.zocalosalsas.com.

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