• Club Spotlight: Hermanos Sin Fronteras

  • Club Spotlight: Hermanos Sin Fronteras

    Author Carlos Dorantes ’25 is a Food Business Management major.


    CIA has such a lively campus, it’s hard to keep track of every exciting opportunity happening! Shining a spotlight on these student-led events is beneficial for those interested in joining extracurriculars. October was Hispanic Heritage Month and the Hermanos Sin Fronteras club orchestrated a vibrant array of events on campus. Eager to immerse myself in the culture they were keen to share with the campus community, I attended one of their enlightening cooking demonstrations.

    Opportunities like this contribute to our diverse student life on campus. Students eagerly entered the theater to learn how to make a delicious Mole Negro. Mole Negro is a rich dark sauce originating from Mexico, typically made with dried chilies, nuts, seeds, and even chocolate to produce a dark and balanced flavor. The club’s president, Christian Prada ’24, stood in front of the audience and demonstrated the steps to make an Oaxacan style Mole Nego. The room filled with the aroma of dark rich spices being charred on the grill. Christian made sure to explain each step of the process to the audience. Samples of ingredients were passed throughout the room so we could understand how each component contributed to the final product. He also made sure to have the audience contribute to the demonstration by having volunteers come down and learn hands-on techniques. This event united our campus community together as one and allowed CIA students to experience just a small taste of Latin culture. The club president passionately expressed, “our aim is to unite people of Hispanic culture on campus, providing them with a warm and welcoming space, all while sharing the richness of our cultures with others on campus.”

    Mole Negro (Black Mole)

    The secret of this mole is in the deep level of toasting and frying of the ingredients. That’s how it gets its haunting pitch-black hue and really complex flavor profiles. I’m not saying to burn the ingredients all the way but get as close as you can without burning it all.

    Yield: 14 cups

    For the chiles:

    • 1 cup (240 ml) vegetable oil
    • 3 1/2 ounces (100 g) ancho mulato chilles, seeds and stems removed
    • 3 1/2 ounces (100 g) chilhuacle negro chiles, seeds and stems removed (can be substituted with cascabel chiles)
    • 1 3/4 ounces (50 g) pasilla chiles, stems removed

    For the rest:

    • 2/3 cup (100 g) sesame seeds
    • 1–3 teaspoons sea salt
    • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1/4 cup (9 g) dried oregano
    • 3 whole cloves
    • 1/4 teaspoon allspice berries
    • 1/8 teaspoon black peppercorns
    • 1 (3-inch/7.5 cm) cinnamon stick, freshly ground (2 teaspoons if using ground)
    • 1 onion (160 g), chopped
    • 1 cup (240 ml) vegetable oil, plus 1/2 cup (120 ml) to fry the mole paste
    • 6 (30 g) garlic cloves peeled
    • 3/4 cup (100 g) almonds
    • 1 3/4 ounces (50 g) Maria Mexican cookies (can be substituted with animal crackers)
    • 6 ounces (170 g) ripe plantains, peeled and chopped into 2-inch (5 cm) rounds
    • 1 cup (125 g) cubed apples, unpeeled
    • 2 3/4 ounces (75 g) fresh pineapple, core removed
    • 3/4 cup (100 g) raisins
    • 2 1/3 cups (400 g) chopped tomatoes
    • 2 dried avocado leave
    • 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
    • 7 ounces (200 g) Oaxacan chocolate, finely chopped
    • 4 1/2 cups (1 L) Chicken stock

    Directions:

    1. Remove stems and seeds from the dried chilies. Toast in a dry skillet until fragrant, then soak in hot water for 20–30 minutes until soft.
    2. In a blender or food processor, combine soaked chilies, sesame seeds, almonds, raisins, garlic, and onions. Blend until a smooth paste forms.
    3. In a large pot, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the mole paste and cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Add masa harina and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
    4. Spice it up: Add cinnamon, cloves, allspice, cumin, coriander, and black pepper. Stir well to combine.
    5. Add broth and chocolate: Gradually add chicken or vegetable broth, stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Once the mixture thickens, add chocolate and stir until melted and well incorporated.
    6. Simmer: Reduce heat to low and let the mole simmer for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld. Add more broth if needed.
    7. Cook the chicken: Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper. In a separate pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Brown chicken on all sides.
    8. Combine and finish: Add browned chicken to the simmering mole sauce. Cook together for an additional 20–30 minutes until chicken is cooked through and flavors are well combined.
    9. Serve: Garnish with sesame seeds and chopped cilantro.