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Food & Home

Molé Sauce


Adapted from my favorite contributor Lee Gross who transforms leftovers like no one else. This recipe calls for lots of ingredients, but don’t be put off — it’s actually quite simple to make and totally revamps day-old turkey. Make some fresh guacamole and warm up some tortillas and you have the perfect way to use up leftovers.

Yields about 3 cups of sauce

½ cup red wine

¼ cup raisins

¼ cup dried apricots, roughly diced

4 dried red chilis (I had a variety in my pantry, so I used 2 New Mexico Red chilis, 1 pasilla and 1 ancho)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and finely diced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon coarse salt, plus more as needed

one 14-ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes

2 cups good quality chicken or vegetable stock

¼ cup pumpkin seeds, roasted

¼ cup whole almonds, roasted

¼ cup white sesame seeds, roasted, plus more for serving

3 ounces high quality dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao), roughly chopped

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chipotle in adobo sauce (feel free to adjust amount according to your heat preference)

small handful fresh cilantro leaves for serving

1. Bring the wine to a boil in a small pot, add the raisins and apricots and remove from the heat. Let them soak for at least 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, roast the chilis over an open gas flame until fragrant and toasty. Discard the stems and seeds from each chili and roughly chop. Place the chilis in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let them soak for at least 10 minutes.

3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add the onion, garlic, cumin, oregano and salt. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the raisins, apricots and wine. Drain the chilis, discarding the liquid, and add to the pot. Add the tomatoes, stock, pumpkin seeds, almonds and sesame seeds. Bring the mixture to a boil, turn the heat down and simmer for one hour. Stir in the chocolate, pepper and chipotle. Transfer the mole to a blender and puree until completely smooth (be extremely careful when blending hot liquids). Ideally it’s best to refrigerate the sauce overnight or at least let it sit for a few hours, letting all those flavors get to know each other. Reheat, adding a splash of water if the mixture is too thick, and serve over warm, sliced leftover turkey. Garnish with fresh cilantro and an additional sprinkle of roasted sesame seeds.