Ancho and Chipotle Mole

The rich flavors of this mole are perfect with steak, pork, shrimp or beans, or simmer the sauce with chicken or turkey for a mole stew.

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  • 2 large ancho chiles
  • 2 dried chipotle chiles
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 10 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • Salt

How to make this recipe

  1. In a bowl, cover the anchos and chipotles with the boiling water. Let soak for 30 minutes, until softened. Drain, reserving the liquid. Discard the stems, cores and seeds; coarsely chop the chiles.

  2. Preheat the broiler or light a gas flame. Char the peppers for 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until charred all over. Transfer to a medium bowl, cover with plastic and let steam for 5 minutes. Peel the peppers and discard the skin, stems and seeds, then coarsely chop.

  3. In a small dry skillet, toast the cloves, cumin and cinnamon stick over moderately low heat until darkened and fragrant, 1 1/2 minutes. Let cool. Grind to a powder in a spice grinder. Transfer to a plate. Add the sunflower seeds to the skillet and toast, shaking the pan a few times, about 3 minutes. Let cool. Transfer the seeds to the grinder; finely grind.

  4. Heat the oil in a medium skillet. Add the garlic and cook over low heat until golden, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until glossy, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until melted.

  5. In a blender, combine the chiles and their soaking liquid with the bell peppers, the ground spices, the ground sunflower seeds and the garlic mixture and blend until smooth. Scrape the mole into a large bowl and season with salt. Transfer the sauce to jars and refrigerate.

Make Ahead

The sauce can be refrigerated for 3 weeks.

Contributed By Published December 2001

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