An earthy fall-focused mole…
Pumpkin season means pumpkins are…well in everything. Soups, drinks, desserts, and yes…sauces. They are particularly good with Mexican sauces like mole. And it makes sense – mole sauce is already deliciously earthy and sweet, making pumpkin – a vegetable native to Mexico – a perfect addition to the mix. Try it with chicken, steak, and really and Mexican dish as a seasonal alternative to the normal mole.
Pumpkin Mole Sauce
- 1 can pumpkin puree 15-ounce can
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 3 ancho peppers stems and seeds removed
- 1 yellow onion quartered
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup almonds sliced
- 8 whole allspice berries
- 5 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 ounces Mexican chocolate
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Prep the vegetables
- Place the onion and garlic (unpeeled) onto a foil-lined baking sheet and broil on high for approximately 6 to 8 minutes (less or more as needed) - stirring occasionally to evenly char and soften.
- Remove the onions and garlic from the broiler and let them sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Peel the garlic.
Rehydrate the ancho peppers
- Heat a pan over medium heat (no oil) and heat a pot of water to boiling.
- Slice the ancho peppers into strips, then add the ancho strips to the pan. Dry roast the ancho pepper for 4 to 5 minutes - until the edges slightly are darkened.
- Transfer the chilies to the boiling water, then remove the pot from the heat source. Allow the ancho peppers to rehydrate in the hot water for approximately 10 minutes.
- Upon completion, keep 1 cup of the water to the side.
Make the sauce
- Dry roast the whole cloves and allspice until fragrant (approximately 1 minute), then set them to the side.
- Dry roast the cinnamon stick and almond slices. Dry roast the almonds until lightly browned (approximately 3 minutes). Set them to the side with the other spices.
- Transfer the ancho peppers, onion, garlic, the reserved chili water (1 cup), toasted almonds, allspice, cloves, and cinnamon into a blender. Add the crushed red pepper. Blend until smooth.
- In the saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil then add the ancho pepper spice mix along with the dark brown sugar and salt. Cook, stirring often for 5 minutes.
- Add the pumpkin puree and chicken broth. Stir until the pumpkin puree is fully combined into the sauce.
- Add the Mexican chocolate and stir until the chocolate is fully melted.
- Reduce the heat to low and cover the saucepan. Allow the sauce to simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes to an hour. Add additional brown sugar and salt to taste.
- Remove the sauce from the heat and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Serve.
Want it milder? Remove the crushed red pepper from the recipe. The ancho peppers will be the only heat source (and a very mild one at that).