Mexico City, this megacity is home to nearly 21 million people , which makes it the most populous city in North America. The city was built atop the ruins of the once flourishing Aztec city of Tenochtitlan. Mexico city’s fascinating melting pot reveals itself through its architecture which includes pre-Columbian ruins alongside Mexican-style modernism, and the mix of cultures where tradition happily coexists with the modern culture.
Things you didn’t know about Mexico City:
- Mexico’s capital is sinking every year. Mexico City was built atop a system of lake beds by its original tribes and expanded by the Aztecs when they took power of the Valley of Mexico. Unlike the Aztecs who created intricate systems of dikes and canals for flood control, the Spanish insisted on draining the lakebed once they got a taste of the work needed to maintain their watery existence. Most of the city’s water today is pumped from its aquifer below the surface and because of the soil’s sandy condition, the city and buildings continue to sink deeper into the muck.
- North America’s first printing press was used in Mexico City. Mexican Juan Pablo used North America’s first printing press in 1539 and created 35 books with it from that year until the year of his death in 1560. His original workshop has been converted into a musuem and can still be visited in Mexico City’s Centro Historico. The press was brough by Spaniard Juan de Zumárraga in 1539, and originally printed materials for the colonial church and vice royalty.
- The greener side: Despite its reputation for being super polluted, Mexico City is one of the greenest megacities in Latin America. Part of this distinction has to do with the fact that the Desierto de los Leones, a nearby natural reserve, is included within the city limits as well as the Parque de Chapultepec, which is almost double the size of Central Park.
- Freshly released from jail by the Cuban Batista government and exiled in Mexico, Fidel and Raul Castro met Ernesto “Che” Guevara in a tiny apartment in Mexico City’s Tabacalera neighborhood for the first time. It was in this apartment and in the Cafe de la Habana in Colonia Sa Rafeal that the three planned their return to Cuba and a revolution that would turn out to be one of the most infamous in world history.
I have looking forward to making Mole for ages! The rich and tasty sauce combined with the smoked chicken! I know the chili’s seem a lot but it’s really not that spicy! I do however recommend lime juice as a topping since it cuts through richness of the sauce.
- 11 dried ancho chiles
- 5 dried pasilla chiles
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups hot water, which you will use to soak the dry chiles
- 2 chopped garlic cloves
- 2 onions thinly sliced
- 5 tablespoons of almonds
- 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds
- 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
- 3 peeled red tomatoes, seeds removed and chopped to small bits
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 pinch of salt
- 5 tablespoons of lard
- Lime zest
- Orange zest
- 1/2 cup of 70% pure black cocoa chocolate, cut in small pieces
- 6 smoked chicken breasts
- Flour tortillas
- Slice the chiles coarsely in quarters and let them soak and marinate in hot water for 1 hour; keep separately water, chiles and seeds, (in this recipe we actually use the seeds, but discard the stems).
- Prepare a saucepan, into which you will begin by frying the chilies, the tomatoes, the onions and the spices over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add all the seeds and let everything simmer for 5 more minutes: we just want the flavors to blend together, no charring or roasting.
- Pour this chili preparation in the food processor with all ingredients mentioned above, except for: water, broth, lard and chocolate.
Add a little water that was used to soak the chiles and blend to a smooth paste while pulsing at medium speed. Top up with more water if necessary.
- In that saucepan we used earlier, heat up and melt the lard. Mix in the previously blended paste and warm up during 2 min.
Add in progressively 1 and 1/2 cups [500 ml] of the water used to soak the chilies and the chicken broth, while continuously mixing, and when everything is smooth add the chocolate.
- When the chocolate has melted, the sauce is ready. It has to have the consistency of a thick cream. If it is too dense, simply add more coloured chilli soaking water, and stir.
- Warm up your smoked chickenbreasts. And fill your tortillas with refried pincho beans, avocado, jalapeño, cilantro, limejuice.
- Enjoy your delicious creation!!!!!