The word mole comes from the Nauatl word “molli”, which means stew or sauce; it is pronounced MO-LAY. In Mexico, mole recipes are passed down from generation to generation and vary from town to town.
This rich thick sauce is made from variety of chilies, onions, garlic cloves, different nuts and seeds, and a piece of chocolate. There are some recipes for mole that require mixing up to 36 ingredients -which can become a challenge. We want to share with you an “easy” way to make an authentic mole sauce for topping stewed meats or enchiladas.
- 3 ounces dried ancho chilies, about 6 medium-large pieces
- ½ tablespoon sesame seeds
- 3 tablespoons blanched, slivered almonds
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- 1 cup chopped white onion
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 to 3 cups chicken broth
- 2½ tablespoons lard or olive oil, or a combination of both
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons Mexican chocolate, finely chopped
- Cooked chicken, turkey or pork
*For 4 to 6 servings
- In a pan heated over medium toast the chilies for 20 to 30 seconds on each side until they soften and become fragrant, but do not allow them to scorch. Remove and discard the stems and seeds, tear the chilies into small pieces, place them in a bowl and cover them with very hot water for 30 minutes. Drain and place in a food processor.
- While the chilies are soaking, toast the sesame seeds in a skillet over medium heat until they just turn golden brown. Add to the food processor, along with the almonds, raisins, onion, cinnamon, oregano and ½ cup of the broth. Process the ingredients for two minutes, then transfer to a blender and blend for two minutes more, adding broth if necessary for the blender to operate. If the mixture is not totally smooth, put it through the fine blade of a food mill or a strainer to remove any bits of remaining chilie skin.
- Heat the lard or oil in a medium-sized pot over just-above-medium heat, add the mole paste and cook, stirring constantly, until most of the liquid has evaporated and it becomes shiny. Then, little by little, stir in the rest of the broth and add the sugar. At this point, the mixture should be thinner than you want the finished product to be. If necessary, add more broth. Simmer the mole until it is the consistency of a milk shake, for about 15 minutes. Add the salt and Mexican chocolate and serve over cooked chicken, turkey, pork or rolled tortillas filled with shredded chicken –for mole enchiladas.
* Based on the recipe by Jim Peyton – lomexicano.com