Ancho Chile Mole

I love enchiladas and authentic Mexican food (who doesn’t?!), especially that authentic salsa looking sauce they slather all over plates in the restaurants. Then I thought to myself, this can’t be that hard to make. So I started doing some research online and discovered several recipes for this mysterious, delicious sauce called Mole. Many recipes I found detailed a fairly complicated and time consuming process. First you have to take dried chiles toast, reconstitute and blend, then you mix it with a ton of spices, nuts, chocolate and tomatoes and simmer it until it becomes a thick sauce etc. I wasn’t deterred by seemingly complicated process, but I was deterred by the lack of dried chiles to be found. I don’t really have access to a lot of those types of foods where I am currently living. Or at least I thought.
So there I was one day, picking out produce from the organic vegetable section at Kroger and what do I find? Dried Ancho Chile’s. They were like $6 a pound, but they are almost weightless so I was able to buy a huge bag of them for a little over $1. Most of the mole recipes I found online didn’t use Ancho Chile’s, but I was talking to one of my neighbors and she said you could make Mole out of Ancho Chile’s if you wanted to. And believe me, she knows what she is talking about. So I used a picked from a variety of Mole recipes online and came up with a pretty good concoction.
The beautiful thing about Mole is that it really spices up any dish. You can add it to black or refried beans, enchiladas, burritos and it really spices things up and adds great flavor. I promise, you will never buy the canned stuff again. Just keep a big jar of this around instead and use it when you really feel like Mexican food.
My Ancho Chile Mole:
8 Dried Ancho Chiles
4 Cloves Garlic
2 onions, chopped
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1+1/2 cups chicken broth
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 square unsweetened baking chocolate
1 tsp brown sugar
1 can crushed tomatoes with jalopenos
1 can diced tomatoes
(I also stewed some grape tomatoes that were about to go bad once and used these instead of the canned tomatoes, and it was awesome)
Cut open the ancho chiles and discard the seeds. Split up the chile so the chiles lays flat. Toast the chiles until fragrant (about 2-3 minutes each side). Transfer the chiles into a bowl and cover with boiling water to reconstitute (approximately 20 minutes).
Toast garlic cloves until skins are brown/black (about 10-15 minutes). Blend garlic, cinnamon, basil, oregano, cumin, chicken broth and balsalmic vinegar. Drain Ancho Chiles and add to blender. Blend until smooth. Saute onions over low heat untile softened (about 10 minutes). Add the Ancho Chile mixture to the onions and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. Transfer this mixture back into the blender. Blend until smooth. Return mixture back to the pan and add chocolate and brown sugar. Simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes. Add to enchiladas, meat, burritos, beans or jar and store in the refrigerator/freezer!
I looked at a lot of recipes and the ones I drew the most from were the Splendid Table’s Revisionist Mole and Emeril Lagasse’s Mole from food network.

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