Mexican Turkey Mole

Serves 6 to 8.

This would be a perfect main dish for entertaining. You can add cooked rice, a fruit salad and a green vegetable to the menu. This looks like a long list of ingredients, but most of them are herbs and spices.

  • 2 pieces boneless turkey breast, 4 to 5 lb. total

  • 2 tbsp. lard or oil

  • 2 large onions, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

  • 4 c. chicken broth or water, divided

  • 1 (1-oz.) square unsweetened chocolate

  • 2 to 3 tbsp. chili powder, or to taste

  • 3 tbsp. flour

  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano leaves (try the chocolate oregano)

  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves

  • 2 tsp. salt

  • ½ tsp. pepper

  • ¼ c. chopped peanuts

  • ¼ c. toasted sesame seeds

  • Chopped fresh cilantro or chocolate oregano

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash turkey; pat dry with paper towels. Set aside. In a Dutch oven, heat the lard or oil. Add onions and garlic; saute 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add more lard or oil if necessary.

    Add turkey breast and brown on both sides. Arrange onion and garlic on top of turkey. Heat 1 cup broth or water; place in small bowl and add the chocolate; stir until melted. Pour over the turkey in the pot. Mix chili powder, flour, oregano, cinnamon, cloves, salt and pepper with remaining 3 cups broth. Pour over the turkey.

    Bake, covered, for 1 to 1¼ hours or until turkey is cooked through (thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast registers 180 degrees). Garnish with peanuts, sesame seeds and cilantro or chocolate oregano.

    Lavender-Lemon Cake with Honey Glaze

    Serves 16.

    The recipe is from Flo Braker's "The Simple Art of Perfect Baking." Dried lavender flowers are available at whole-foods cooperatives.

  • 3 c. cake flour

  • 1½ tsp. baking powder

  • 1 tsp. baking soda

  • ¼ tsp. salt

  • 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter

  • 1½ c. granulated sugar

  • 1 tbsp. dried lavender flowers

  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten

  • ½ tsp. lemon extract

  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract

  • 1 c. plain yogurt

  • 1 tbsp. finely grated lemon zest

  • 2 tbsp. honey

  • ½ c. sifted powdered sugar, plus more for dusting

  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour a Bundt or tube-type cake pan.

    Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together; set aside. In bowl of electric mixer, beat butter until creamy and smooth; add sugar and lavender and beat until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Scrape bowl occasionally. Add eggs in thirds, beating after each addition. Add lemon and vanilla extracts.

    On very low speed, add flour mixture alternating with yogurt and ending with flour; blend each addition until just incorporated. Scrape bowl occasionally. Fold in lemon zest. Spoon batter into pan and spread so the outside edge is about 1 inch higher than the inside edge. Bake until cake springs back when touched and pulls away from sides of pan, 55 to 60 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack; cool completely in pan, 1 to 2 hours.

    Turn cake out onto a wire rack set over waxed paper. In small pan over low heat, warm honey until runny, 30 seconds. Put ½ cup powdered sugar in small bowl and pour in honey and lemon juice; stir to blend. Using pastry brush, brush cake with glaze and let stand at room temperature until ready to serve. Dust with more powdered sugar just before serving.