Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Homemade Mole (rhymes with Ole!) Sauce

Years ago when we lived in DC, SPH took me to an authentic Mexican restaurant that featured different types of Mole Sauce.  I remember reading what I thought was a sauce named after a little blind rodent that my cat used to bring me as a present as a child.  Yuck!

Thankfully SPH quickly schooled me in Mole:  a rich, complex and vibrant sauce traditionally made out of peppers, nuts and fragrant spices.  Ladies and gentleman, this sauce is the furthest thing from "yuck."

I can't tell you how long I've tried to work on a homemade version of Mole (with plenty of fails!).  I found a great recipe from Eating Well magazine and then worked to tweak it.  Serve it over meats, on top of enchiladas, or really anything, since anything tastes good with this on top!

Homemade Mole Sauce

1/4 cup roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons almonds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 corn tortilla, torn into pieces
1 cinnamon stick
4 dried chiles (such as Ancho, New Mexican, Poblano), stems and seeds removed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chocolate chips
1/4 cup diced tomato
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add the peanuts, almonds, sesame seeds, corn tortilla and cinnamon stick and toast until the nuts begin to brown, stirring every minute or so.  You will begin to smell the nuts and cinnamon more noticeably as they brown.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Add the oil to the pan and saute the peppers, onion and garlic for a few minutes, or until the onions begin to brown a bit.  Add the chocolate chips, tomatoes, salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute, then add the nut mixture.  Stir well:

Finally, add the broth and bring to a boil.  Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen all the bits of browned goodness:

Reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Remove from the pan and puree in a blender (be careful since it is hot!).

Serve over grilled meat or enchiladas:

Makes about 4 cups Mole Sauce.

Life is sweet,

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