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).