Serves 8 / A greatly abbreviated, easy-to-make version of classic mole. Dried whole chiles and pasilla chile powder are available in most food markets. They pack a fiery punch, so use according to taste. If your blender isn’t big enough, don’t pour in all the water in step 1, but add it later to the skillet.
3-4 dried ancho chiles
1 dried chipotle chile
4 cups boiling water
1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added fire-roasted tomatoes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil, divided
2 large white onions, halved and sliced about 3/8-inch thick, divided
1/4 cup slivered almonds
7 cloves garlic
4 pitted prunes
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 whole star anise
2 corn tortillas, slightly charred under broiler or over flame
1 tablespoon pasilla chile powder or other chile powder
1 low-sodium vegetable bouillon cube
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
2 pounds precooked polenta (1 1/2 tubes), sliced
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
1. Place dried chiles in a bowl and cover with the boiling water. Allow to soak until soft and cool enough to handle. Discard stems. Place tomatoes and softened chiles, water and all, in a blender. (Strain out chile seeds for less heat, if desired.)
2. Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add half the onions. Stir until soft and beginning to color, 5 minutes. Add almonds, garlic, prunes, sesame seeds, and star anise, and continue stirring until almonds are lightly browned, 5 minutes. Add mixture to blender, along with tortillas, chile powder, bouillon cube, and cinnamon. Blend until smooth.
3. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon coconut oil in skillet and add remaining onion. Stir until onion is soft and lightly colored. Add blender contents and stir well. Lower heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 10 minutes. Uncover and stir in chocolate, plus salt to taste. Set aside 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro and stir in the rest.
4. Grill, panfry, or broil polenta slices until toasted and warmed through. Pour mole over polenta and serve, sprinkled with cheese and reserved cilantro.
PER SERVING: 273 cal, 12g fat (2g mono, 1g poly, 6g sat), 6mg chol, 8g protein, 38g carb, 6g fiber, 449mg sodium