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Recipe: Mole Sauce

Mexican cooking at its sweet and savory finest: a complex mixture of the smoky heat of dried chiles, aromatic toasted spices, garlic, tomatoes, nuts, and raisins, with an almost magical depth created by the addition of a small amount of unsweetened chocolate. This classic sauce is worth every minute it takes to create. Mole is traditionally served with turkey, but it also pairs beautifully with chicken, pork, or veal.

Ingredients

Serves
8
  • 12 assorted dried chiles such as ancho, pasilla, or mulato, stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped
  • 1 dried chipotle chili, stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped (see note below)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel (anise) seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup hulled pumpkin seeds (pepitas), lightly toasted
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
  • 1 large tomato, diced, or 1 can (14 1/2-ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 can (4 ounces) mild green chiles
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 ounce Glace de Volaille Gold® or Glace de Poulet Gold® dissolved in 2 cups hot water
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • Sherry vinegar

Methods/steps

  1. Toast the dried chiles for 2-3 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently.  Transfer them to a mixing bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside to steep for 30 minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and add the coriander, cumin, fennel, cloves, and sesame seeds to the skillet.  Toast them, stirring and shaking the pan, until they are fragrant and lightly browned, about 3 minutes.  Transfer them to a spice grinder or small food processor and grind into a powder.  Set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and sauté until it is translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add the pumpkin seeds, almonds, tomato, green chiles, oregano, cinnamon, and the reserved ground toasted spices, and cook for another minute.  Add the diluted Glace de Volaille Gold® or Glace de Poulet Gold®, bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes.  Drain the dried chiles and add them along with the raisins; stir to combine.
  4. Purée the sauce in a food processor until smooth, working in batches if necessary.
  5. Return the sauce to a clean pan and bring to a simmer.  Add the sugar and chocolate, stirring until the chocolate melts into the sauce.  Season with salt and pepper and continue simmering for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  To finish the sauce, taste and season as needed with additional salt and pepper and a dash of sherry vinegar.

Additional Tips

If you can't find dried chipotle chilies, use 1-2 of the canned ones (in adobo sauce) and add them, minced, with the tomatoes at step 3.

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