Tuesday
Mar052013

Cafe 56 - Making Mole in Middletown

Serving authentic, creative and fresh food from the Americas, Cafe56 in Middletown, CT is a true find
 

Years ago, relatives from South America visited our family and came bearing gifts of Venezuelan dark chocolate bars.  The cocoa content must have been 70% or more.  The first bite I took was jarring.  It was the blackest chocolate I'd ever seen and it was soooo...not sweet.  The flavor was wierd to my North American teenage tastebuds. Decades later, dark chocolate in wonderful varieties is readily available at our North American supermarkets.  Mole means "sauce" in Spanish. A Chocolate Mole is a rich, multi-layered pureed sauce -- a symphony of ingredients which produce high and low notes of spices, chiles, nuts, vegetables & fruits, lard/oil and, of course, good chocolate with a high cocoa content, easily attainable at Latin American markets.  This type of Mole is best suited for white meats such as Chicken and Turkey. Chef Sabrina Cortes of Cafe 56 in Middletown, gave a step by step demonstration of making the perfect chocolate mole with chicken, rice and plantains.  She also advised that this dish should be paired with a high-qualityTequila which is a perfect compliment to its richness.

Cafe 56 is a cozy and stylish 30 seat place serving breakfast and lunch.  Ms. Cortes is a native of Guatemala City and brings the authentic, creative and fresh food of the Americas to Middletown. Sabrina is passionate about the food and culture of the Americas.  "In Guatamela" she told us, "tortillas are still made by hand by groups of young women with bright red cheeks (from the heat of the tortilla ovens)". And that it's still true that the "better a woman's tortillas, the better her chance at finding a husband!".  Chef Cortes' exuberance for the food of her heritage is infectious as she talks of the tradition of Guatemalan cooks orchestrating a meal in the kitchen and discussing the day's news. The cuisine of her native land is complex and flavorful and crafted with tradition -- and simply wonderful.

A unique specialty of Cafe 56 is the Tacandwich.  Check out the description from the restaurant's website:  "The signature dish at Cafe 56, is the “Tacandwich”, a creation of owner Sabrina Cortes, which brings together traditional taco ingredients and a freshly baked Portuguese roll.

 

A Passion for Peppers Sabrina Cortes The only way to grind the spices -- a traditional mortar & pestle The wonderful aroma of roasting spices Peeling a roasted poblano for the rice Sauteed raisins and garlic chicken mole with roasted poblano rice and sauteed plantains.

The Menu at Cafe 56

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Reader Comments (1)

What a wonderful restaurant! Makes me hungry just reading about it!

March 8, 2013 | Registered CommenterMarisa

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