Sweet Potato Tacos with Mole and Doña Tina’s Rice

Welcome to the first post of Doña Tina’s Latin Café, the blog that emphasizes festive, budget-conscious, and easy-to-make Latin recipes.

I started this blog as a fun hobby, a way to share Latin-inspired dishes of my own invention, such as the sweet potato and rice recipes that follow. Then I did an Internet search and found that Doña Tina is not as brilliant as she thought she was. My ideas had already been thought of!

So here at least, are my own versions of these recipes. Since I’m a one-woman band, and developing and testing (and retesting) recipes takes time, I may not post several times a week, but I will post often enough to keep things interesting. So subscribe and get a post in your email box!

Enjoy my recipes for sweet potato tacos with mole and Doña Tina’s rice. They make a great meal served together! Thanks so much for visiting my blog!

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Sweet Potato Tacos with Mole
Four servings

Mole, such as mole negro, is a Mexican sauce made from ingredients such as chocolate, sesame seeds, and chiles. Some traditional versions contain over a dozen ingredients and can take hours to make. But no need for that! You can buy ready-made mole paste, such as Doña María’s, in the Latin or ethnic foods section of most supermarkets.

My college roommate Rosa was a great cook and made the best chicken mole I have ever tasted. This mole, to the best of my memory, is what hers tasted like. Food memories are powerful! Make some of your own.

1/4 cup Doña María’s mole paste
1 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
2 10 ounce packages frozen diced sweet potatoes
4 tablespoons butter
4 corn tortillas

Place mole paste and water in a medium-sized pot. Put on low heat and stir continuously until paste breaks up and dissolves. Add in sugar and cocoa and continue to stir until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and keep covered.

Place 2 cups of water in a large covered skillet and bring water to boil. Stir in frozen sweet potato cubes. Cover and steam potatoes on medium-high heat until soft and tender, about 15 minutes. Drain. In same skillet on medium heat, melt butter until potatoes are thoroughly coated and stir. Turn off heat. Scoop sweet potatoes into warm tortillas, and spoon mole sauce over them. Enjoy!

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Doña Tina’s Rice
Four Servings

2 jalapeño or serrano chile peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup basmati rice
1 1/3 cups water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Rinse and drain rice in a small bowl until the water comes out clear (about 3 times). Add water to a medium-sized pot with the olive oil and salt. Cover and bring to a boil.

When the water is boiling, stir in rice and chopped garlic. Turn heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, very quickly and all at once, add the chopped chile peppers, stir, and cover. Simmer for another 5 minutes.

Stir in chopped cilantro and serve immediately.