Weeknight Mole Sauce
January, 2006

Makes about 2 1/2 cups / Traditional mole recipes call for a mile-long list of ingredients, such as exotic chilies, pumpkin seeds, and whole spices, each of which must be individually toasted and ground. This much-simplified recipe uses pantry staples to produce a complex, delicious sauce. Serve over cheese quesadillas, bean burritos, or turkey, garnished with cilantro, avocado slices, and lime wedges.

3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
2 large or 3 small onions, chopped (about 3 cups)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons chili powder
1-2 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes (optional), crushed in the hand to release oils
1 teaspoon natural cane or granulated sugar
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon tahini (or peanut butter)
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned
3 tablespoons raisins, finely chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2–3 cloves)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lime juice, or to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano

1. Heat oil in a heavy skillet or saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Sauté onion until deep brown, reducing heat if onion starts to scorch, 8–10 minutes.
2. Stir in cumin, coriander, cinnamon, chili powder, red pepper flakes (if using), and sugar. Cook, stirring, for 1–2 minutes or until fragrant. Stir in chocolate, peanut butter, tahini, chicken broth, tomatoes, raisins, garlic, and salt. Let sauce simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
3. Stir in lime juice and oregano and remove from heat. Transfer mixture to a food processor and purée in batches until smooth.

PER SERVING (1/2 cup): 292 cal, 59% fat cal, 20g fat, 5g sat fat, 0mg chol, 8g protein, 24g carb, 7g fiber, 671mg sodium