For the longest time I've been scared to try Mexican Mole sauce. I mean, isn't it obvious why? Chocolate in a savory sauce? Hot things in the food processor? And what to serve it on? But at the same time, I have always been intrigued and peeved when I see "Chicken in Mole sauce" on a menu. So often I find myself craving the sauce a meat is served but being at a lack of things to serve it on. After my recent trip so close to the border, I decided to stop being a pansy and give mole a try... even though it could mean wasting precious organic vegan chocolate *gasp*!
Luckily, after giving the sauce a try I can confidently assert that the V'Con ladies are right... its good on everything. I think I might even use it as dip for tortilla chips. Yum.
So this recipe is an amalgamation of the Joy of Cooking recipe and my own shortcuts and guess-timations, with Isa and Terry as inspiration. Although it was NOT picture perfect, it was SO yummy. I'm totally going to eat it on everything this week, people.
Vegan Mole Power Sauce
3 red chile peppers
8-9 cloves garlic
Chipotles in adobo sauce
Pinches of cloves, cumin, organo, and salt
3 C vegetable broth
1/4 C raw almonds
1/4 C pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1 small onion, diced
1/2 C diced tomatoes
2 slices bread (I used wheat) toasted and torn into pieces
1/4 C good baking chocolate, chopped
Pinches cinnamon, black pepper
1. First you need to do some roasting. Rub the garlic cloves, unpeeled, with a little EVOO and stick them on a piece of tin foil in the oven on 400 degrees. When they're brownish-yellow, they're done. Meanwhile, roast your chile peppers over an open flame until blackened all over. Set them aside and wait to peel and remove seeds until they are cooled. Don't forget, those things are hot, so don't rub your eyes!*
2. Peel the garlic as well and add soft inside to peppers in food processor. Add pinches of first set of spices, being a little heavy handed on the oregano. Add 1-2 chipotle peppers and a few drops of the liquid they come in. (Reserve the rest of the can for rice and beans!) Now, spin away in your food processor until smooth, adding 1/2 c. of veggie broth as you go. Sieve the mixture and set aside.
3. In a good-sized pot or dutch oven that you can use later, heat a little oil over medium heat. Roast the almonds for about 3 minutes, then put in the food processor along with pre-roasted pepitas. In the same pot, cook onion until browned, then add to the food processor (using a slotted spoon.) Add in chocolate, tomatoes, and cinnamon. Also throw the toasted and torn bread in there. Process that stuff until smooth, adding more broth to smooth it out.
4. Now, we combine. Add a tiny bit more oil to the pot and throw the pepper mixture in there over medium. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until it starts to thicken. Next, add the nut/chocolate mixture. Blend the two together for another 5 minutes until its getting really good and thick. Finally, add remaining broth. Bring to a boil and lower heat. Now is the time to adjust salt, sugar, or heat. You can also control how thick your sauce is by adjusting the amount of broth. I like mine thick. Simmer partly covered for 20-30 more minutes, or until whatever your serving it with is done cooking.
I really, really like this with polenta. Its like my new mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy. It would also be excellent on pumpkin and/or sweet potatoes I suspect... and I fully intend to prove it by the end of the week. ;)
*If you're not big on spicy stuff, maybe you should leave out one of the peppers and some of the chipotle.
**Update** I made an awesome quesadilla-esque thingie with onions, peppers, polenta, mole sauce, plus sour cream and guac to dip. SO divine.