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Have you ever been to a restaurant that totally changed your perspective on something? That’s how I felt the first time I dined at Guelaguetza, a family-owned Oaxacan restaurant in Los Angeles that features dishes like tlayudas, memelas, and a little (big) dish called festival de moles. This dish for two stars a variety of different moles that the restaurant makes in house. After tasting each one, I was totally hooked, and I realized that my journey to understanding Mexican food had only just begun. But making mole from scratch at home is not for the faint of heart. So when I found out that the James Beard American Classic-winning restaurant is now selling pre-made mole starters to use at home, I got seriously excited.
For those who might not know, mole is a type of sauce that’s made with a wide variety of ingredients, including things like chiles, nuts and seeds, and spices. It’s usually paired with cooked meats, and you can also find it as the sauce on enchiladas (enmoladas). Making mole is a huge labor of time and effort, so the fact that you can now get restaurant-quality mole at home is a big deal. That Costco rotisserie chicken is going to have its world rocked when you serve it alongside some mole and corn tortillas!
You can try three of Gueleguetza’s moles in the Festival De Mole bundle. It comes with a pouch of Mole Coloradito (a red, mild mole made with chiles, nuts, seeds, spices, and Oaxacan chocolate), Mole Negro (a dark black mole made with chiles, nuts, seeds, spices, and chocolate), and Mole Rojo (a bold red mole made with chiles, nuts, seeds, chocolate, and more).
How can you use Guelaguetza’s mole? You can follow their easy recipe, which calls for combining the mole starter with hot broth and tomato sauce. Then, use that sauce to make enchiladas, as a sauce for burritos, tacos, and tortas, paired with leftover chicken and roast meat, or to jazz up breakfast by serving your ham and eggs with mole and corn tortillas (their suggestion, so you know it’s legit!).
If you’re not sure if you’re going to like mole or not but you want to try, you can also purchase each variety of mole on its own, or try the trial size mole bundle. On the other end of the spectrum, if you already love mole and want to learn more about Oaxacan food, you can pick up a copy of Oaxaca: Home Cooking From the Heart of Mexico, a cookbook written by Bricia Lopez, a member of the family behind Guelaguetza, and Javier Cabral, a prominent LA food writer.
If you’ve been feeling bored with your usual weeknight dinners, then Guelaguetza’s pre-made mole pastes are the perfect solution. They’re so rich and flavorful, bringing that home-cooked taste to your kitchen, while saving you literal hours of work. Give it a try, and you might just ditch the Hamburger Helper for good.
Before you go, check out Ina Garten’s easy weeknight dinner recipes below:
Watch: A 5-Ingredient Grilled Pizza That’s Easier Than Ordering Takeout
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