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Mexico - One Plate At A Time With Rick Bayless: The Soul Of Mole

Airs Saturday, July 17, 2010 at 3 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Chef Rick Bayless

The critically acclaimed series "Mexico – One Plate At A Time" has brought to life the foods, the flavors, the stories and the fun of Mexico for public television viewers. In each episode, beloved chef, restaurateur, author, teacher and culinary adventurer, Rick Bayless, effortlessly tosses together cooking demonstrations, cultural musings, exotic locations, ideas for home entertaining and a generous helping of off-the-wall surprises to create a whole new kind of cooking show that mirrors the thrilling diversity and depth of Mexico.

"The Soul Of Mole:" Mole is an idea that's half pre-Columbian, half European, and 100% Mexican - a sauce, a preparation and a national dish that rivals the culinary masterpieces of the world's greatest cuisines. Rick and his daughter, Lanie, set off on a culinary journey to explore the mysteries of mole that takes them from the mile-high piles of dried chiles in Mexico City's vast La Merced market to stalls selling towering mounds of concentrated mole paste.

Back in Chicago, they're on a mission to make mole from scratch. It's an all-day labor of love to be sure, but Rick breaks the complex process down into easy steps, giving tips on all the ingredients - from sesame seeds and tomatillos to chiles and chocolate - that give mole its richly layered flavor. As the sauce simmers over a wood fire in the backyard, Rick and Lanie use some of it to make a succulent Laquered Chicken in Classic Red Mole and whip up some Classic Mexican White Rice with Sweet Plantains and a Mexican crudite platter. As the sun sets, family and friends gather in the garden for a taste of true Mexican soul food: homemade mole in all its slow-simmered glory.

Get all of Rick's recipes from season seven of "Mexico – One Plate At A Time."

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