Field Notes

Hot Sauce Field Guide: Mole

Last week, we told you about our Hot Sauce Field Guide, and this week we’re excited to share a little bit more of the magic. In creating this book, we tested dozens and dozens of chile condiments, from relishes and pastes to sauces and rubs. This recipe, an easy take on classic Oaxacan mole, emerged as one of our very favorites.

While some versions contain dozens of different ingredients, this recipe is streamlined and can be whipped up in under an hour. Almonds and pepitas give the sauce a silky creaminess, while onions and a heavy dose of garlic provide a base for the spices. Use it as a braising sauce for chicken or turkey, and serve with tortillas, sour cream and scallions.

Yield: 4 cups

  • 3 whole dried chilies (about ½ ounce), such as moritas or anchos
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup almonds, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds), coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 ounce chocolate
  • 2 cups stock

In a small bowl, cover the chilies and raisins with boiling water and let sit for 10 minutes.

Heat the canola oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and cook until the onion and garlic are translucent, 7 minutes. Add the almonds, cinnamon, cumin, and cloves. Cook until the spices smell toasty, about 3 minutes.

Drain the chilies and raisins, and remove the stems and seeds from the chilies. Add to the Dutch oven along with the stock and bring to a boil.  Cook until reduced by a third, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Serve with chicken and tortillas.