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How to Build Your PDX Breakfast Cred

Let’s say you were on a mission to uncover the best places in Portland for breakfast. Would you a) Google it; b) head to The Pearl; or c) hire a brunch sherpa? While Google may result in an array of choices and The Pearl may suffice, the correct answer is C. Why? Because hiring a brunch sherpa […]
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Oaxacan Chicken, Potato and Chayote in Mole Hash

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Following my last exotic Indian hashcapde at Chez Clark, it only seemed fitting to stay in the exotic vein, pushing the boundary to explore the art of potato hash. So, I channeled an Oaxacan cooking class from Sur la Table to create a flavorful, spicy and veggie-packed dish.

Pollo, Patata y Chayote en Mole Amarillo Hash

One of Oaxaca’s culinary traditions is mole (pronounced MOH-lay), which simply means sauce. Just as the French have multiple types, so do Oaxacans – black, brown yellow, brick, red, etc. A defining characteristic is the time-consuming preparation – charring ingredients and spices – soaking chiles – blending till silky smooth. And as far as ingredients go, chiles anchor a mole, like these charred guajillo chiles soaking in hot water.

Oaxacan cooking involves charring the ingredients for moles.
Charred Guajillo chiles soaking in water.

Important lessons I’ve learned, having made this dish (not hash style) multiple times are to: 1) use guajillo chiles, 2) use masa or corn flour for the thickener, and 3) allow plenty of time. I once substituted dried New Mexico chiles and created a mole so spicy, it made Secret Aardvark Sauce taste like catsup by comparison!

Chayote in “Little Shop of Horrors”

The new lesson I learned on this hashcapade is that chayote (pronounced chai-YO-tay) is a dangerous man-eating vegetable, almost bit off my arm! Fortunately, I have mad ninja skills and put it in its place, sulking with the potatoes on the cutting board. Actually, you’ll be impressed with the texture and luscious goodness of chayote. In fact, I’m going to follow the Wikipedia reference above and try some julienned in lime juice for a salad sometime – yum!

Pollo, Patata y Chayote en Mole Amarillo Hash – Take 2
This hash came together in about 2 hours, with the majority spent making the mole as other elements cooked in parallel. Rich, smoky, Oaxacan flavors permeated the hash with the squeaky beans providing a nice surprise with the softer potato, chayote and chicken. Cotija cheese and cilantro gave the dish extra punch. After this photo, I poured more mole on top – holy frijoles! Check out the recipe below…
Ever been to Oaxaca? Tell me about it!
Happy Hashcapades,
Clark
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