barely spicy when cooked. If fresh ones are not available, aim
for a dried arbol chili instead, soaked and reconstituted in water.
While usually served over turkey, pork, or chicken, this simplified mole sauce works well over sweet potatoes and/or tofu
seasoned easily with grapeseed oil, salt, pepper and cumin, and
roasted at 400 degrees until browned. Sweet potatoes provide a
bright foil for the mole’s initial heat, but as you continue savoring it, the fire mellows and the nuances of smoke and chocolate
begin to come through. Prepared mole sauce will keep for about
three days in the refrigerator and freezes well. However, leftover
sauce makes a great topping for eggs or can be diluted with
broth and augmented with black beans and veggies for a quick
take on vegetarian chili.
Mole Sauce, Simplified
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES / COOK TIME: 35 MINUTES
YIELDS: 2½ CUPS
3 Tbsp olive or grapeseed oil
1 fat red onion, peeled and chopped
1 pasilla or poblano pepper, seeded and diced
2 chipotle chilies, canned and smoked in adobo sauce
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground oregano
1 tsp paprika
¼ tsp crushed red chili flakes, optional and to taste
2 Tbsp sesame seeds (preferably black)
2 garlic cloves, peeled, then pressed and/or minced
½ tsp coarse sea salt
¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 cup vegetable broth (preferably homemade or low-sodium),
plus more for thinning
cup cacao nibs or 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 can fire-roasted tomatoes with green chilies ( 14-15 oz)
4 Tbsp raisins
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium-sized Dutch
oven or stockpot; chop and drop the onion, then pasilla or poblano
pepper into the oil and cook until softened and lightly browned.
Add the dried spices and seeds to the pot and stir until they release
their fragrance – about 3 minutes. Mince and stir in the garlic.
Season with salt and pepper and cook until garlic begins to soften.
Pour in the broth, tomatoes, cacao or cocoa, and raisins and bring
to a boil. Then reduce heat to medium low and simmer covered for
about 15 minutes until everything is tender and the flavors marry.
Puree with an immersion blender or carefully with a Vitamix or
food processor until it reaches a nearly smooth consistency. Taste
and adjust seasoning, adding more broth to thin as needed.
Red Jen Ford is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, Yoga Instructor and Seasonal Eating