“Straightforward mole sauce” doubtless sounds a little oxymoronic, but here’s what it means:
- You don’t have to roast or peel any peppers.
- You only have to use two pans.
- After one round of sauté, you’re basically just adding things to the blender and hitting “blend.”
Straightforward mole sauce is definitely a case where you want to have everything out and ready to go. The things below will either go in a saute pan or a blender.
This, of course, is but one version, though there are not too many straightforward mole sauces out there. Indeed, many of them boast about how complicated they are. Like any dish closely associated with a particular location—think kimchi or gnocchi—mole exists in as many different incarnations as there are cooks. This somewhat ancient article from the NYTimes, “On a Quest for Ultimate Mole Sauce,” does a pretty good job of explaining just how complicated a dish it is.
A cook named Margaret Shakespeare inspired me. I adapted it from her recipe in the Great Meals in Minutes: Mexican Meals cookbook (Time-Life Books, 1984). i like it very much in this vegan mole bowl recipe. It also works just dandy on a thing that, here is Michigan, is called a “wet burrito”—in other words, your basic burrito, with rice, beans, veggies, meat if you eat it, drenched in sauce. In that case, consider thinning it down.
Here, you can see the sauce before the chocolate melts in, chocolate naturally being the key ingredient.
And here it is, all blended up and lovely, dark, and deep on the Vegan Mole Bowl.
It goes wonderfully with savory, sweet, creamy—you name it. Cilantro is a marvelous foil. You can pour the finished batch in a glass jar, and unlike the kind you’d buy ready made, you’ll know exactly what’s in it.