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olé is a traditional Mexican sauce made from a base of peppers, tomatoes and cocoa. The result is richly flavored, darkly colored, and very satisfying on a cool autumn day.

Makes 2 quarts.

1.5 lbs poblano peppers
1 lb tomatoes
1 cup pumpkin seeds (no shells)
1 medium onion, sliced
3 jalapeños, seeds removed and diced
4 cloves garlic
vegetable oil (lard is traditional, if you prefer)
2-4 cups chicken broth, depending on desired consistency
½ cup natural cocoa

1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin seeds
1 tablespoon oregano
¼ cup ancho powder
¼ cup honey
Char the skins of the tomatoes & peppers using a kitchen torch or under your broiler. Rinse under cold water to remove skins. Slice into large chunks and discard seeds.
Dry toast pumpkin seeds over medium-high heat until just golden. Remove from pan and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to same pan, let it heat, then add onion slices, jalapeños and garlic. Sprinkle with a small amount of salt, turn the heat down to low and let them sit until the bottoms begin to brown.

Image courtesy of Josi Hannon Madera.

Put everything into a blender and puree until smooth. Add small amounts of chicken stock until molé sauce is desired consistency.

Pour puree into large saucepan and add the remaining ingredients. After adding the spices, you may want to add more broth to thin the molé sauce. Add salt to taste (I start with 1 teaspoon of salt).

Let it simmer, gently, for 30 minutes. You can use it right away, but it will be better if you let it sit overnight in the refrigerator. Then you can use it as a baking sauce for chicken or enchiladas. It is also suited as a smothering sauce for pork chops and an amazing substitute for traditional barbeque sauce when slow-cooking ribs.

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We made mole sauce a few years ago and can't find our recipe anymore. Will definitely give this one a try!
- Shannon M, 2010-03-08 01:38:48

My sister makes a kickin' mole that she learned from her suegra, Candelaria. She uses sesame seeds. When my sister and I went to visit her in Michuacan, Mama Candy made a huge batch of mole for a family party. We actually brought a whole bunch of it home with us on the plane because it is Jaime's (my bro in law) favorite! This one sounds amazing too!
- sarah c, 2010-02-26 08:32:56

Mole always sounds sooooo good. It seems daunting to make though.
- Karen C, 2010-02-06 09:57:48

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