Mexican Heritage Month Guest Post: Our first Guest of this Mexican Heritage Month is Carmen Mendoza. In this post Carmen shows the use of tree seeds in México to create the recipe for this sauce in a recipe for pork but that it can also be used to make enchiladas.
In Spanish, “hacerse guaje” (lit: “to make oneself guaje”) is to pretend to be fool or act dumb. But for now, we need not get confused with two similar words that have different meanings. Guaxmole (also known as “huaxmole” or “mole de guaje”) is a dish that is prepared with guaje seeds (pronounced “goo-ah-heh”), which are also known as huaxin, cacalas, or cascalhuite. Guaje seeds are eaten in many ways, including dried, cooked, raw, or roasted. In its preparations it is used to add consistency to stews and cooked dishes.
Huaxmolli comes from the Náhuatl words “huaxin” (guaje) and “molli” (stew/cooked dish). This is the guaje tree native to México.
The guaje used to make guaxmole comes from a tree that is not very good looking, but is still a source of foods for birds and humans alike. One can still see flocks of birds perched up on these trees peeling the pods away in order to eat the seeds. I have also seen some people gather them in order to sell them in the markets as a source of income. Guajes pods are among the foods that were gathered by the ancient Mexicans, along with wild mushrooms and colorín flowers.
It is not to be confused with the other type of guaje (gourd) like in the above pictures Lagenaria Siceraria that is also known as “bule” or “jícaro”. This one is from the squash family and is probably of African origin. It is mostly used to transport water, to extract the sap from the maguey plant, and for ornamental use.
Now to the recipe:
- 1 Lb. pork ribs cut into small pieces
- 1/3 white onion coarsely chopped
- 1 Lb. coarsely chopped tomatoes
- 1/3 white onion, coarsely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons lard
- 10 oz. guaje seeds (See note for substitution recommendation)
- 6 serrano peppers, more or less to your taste.
- 6 large cilantro springs
- 8 corn tortillas
NOTE: Since these seeds are note available everywhere you can substitute them for pumpkin seeds. But then it will be called Pipian.
1. In a medium size pot, barely cover the meat with water, add the onion and salt and cook over low heat until it is half cooked. Drain meat and save the broth.
2. Blend the tomatoes with garlic and onion in a blender until you have a smooth pure.
3. In a skillet heat the lard and sauté the meat. Top with tomato sauce and cook over fairly high heat about 10 minutes, until it is well cooked and reduce slightly.
4. Puree chiles with a cup of broth until mixture is kept smooth. Gradually add the guaje seeds and blend until mixture is smooth. Add it to the pan along with another cup of broth, cilantro and salt to taste and simmer, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking, about 45 minutes. The sauce should have a medium consistency, add more broth or water if you need to dilute it.
The make the Huaxmole Enchiladas prepare the sauce as directed and follow the instructions of the Enfrijoladas to form them.
By Guest Author: Carmen Mendoza describes herself as a person with an Adventurous palate, an irreverent mystic,a generous cook , a virtuous friend, a hydroponic gardener and an environmentalist by religion. I would also add Ancient Mexican Food Promoter. If you would like to know more about her visit her Blog at “Saborearte Entusiasma”