What’s in common between Jamie Oliver, Mexico and Figs? You might have been asking yourself this question lately so let me explain what we have discovered.

It was a little while ago now, maybe two years, I was scouring the internet for some new Mexican recipes to go with my soft tacos or I was at mum and dads and Jamie Oliver was on TV – it’s a little vague but the flavours for this recipe are certainly not. Either way I wanted to take my Mexican cooking to the next level. Mole sauce was it. I noticed the difference between my tacos and the ones at a restaurant was the array of sauces that complimented each option.

So mole has similarities with those Sunday night soups – where you find whatever is in the pantry, put it in a pot and for some reason it tastes good, possibly due to the amount of salt. Mole is this on another level with some recipes having 30 ingredients or more but Jamie Oliver’s is a quick version that yields an incredible range of flavours. With some strange ingredients I questioned how it would work, it just does. Be brave and add flavours from your cupboard that you like, the mole will probably like it too.

So this is the base recipe found here at ‘52 weeks of Jamie.’  

  • 2 spring onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ½ a fresh red chilli
  • 1 dried smoked chipotle or ancho chilli
  • 1 pinch of cumin seeds
  • 1 heaped tbsp smooth peanut butter
  • 30g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
  • 1 heaped tsp cocoa powder
  • a 2.5cm piece of banana
  • 1 lemon

Trim and add the spring onions, peeled garlic and chillies to the liquidiser with the cumin seeds, peanut butter, a couple of splashes of boiling wear, salt and pepper, then blitz until fine. Put into the frying pan, boil, then simmer.

Scrape the mixture from the frying pan back into the liquidiser and add the chocolate, cocoa, peeled banana and lemon juice, then whiz until silky smooth and season until it’s incredible.

Some key pillars to work with are:

  • Go with how much chilli suits you
  • 100% peanut butter is what you want – try to avoid the one with salt and sugar through it
  • The chocolate and banana are crucial

Add in three or four very ripe figs, the dark purple-skinned version is what you’re after – so ripe they are like jam inside. This is in place of the bananas.

This recipe can be made all year round but for this exact variation it’s a short season of delights – fig season, a time in Melbourne where walking along a street or a back alley can fill your bag and belly with many varieties of figs. I just moved into a house where the tree is laden with fruit and the competition with the bats is fierce.

Hopefully you can try this variation before the end of the fig season and do let us know how you go in the comments below.

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