for serious fans of mole, i heartily recommend rick bayless' *authentic
mexican.* i've made a veggie/fatfree version of the "dark and spicy
mole with turkey" (p. 197--just make the mole sauce only) that was
nearly as good as the regular version, which uses turkey broth and lots
of lard for frying the chiles and spices and is so absolutely
spectacular that the "nearly as good" veggie version will knock your
socks off. it's very much a labor (and i do mean labor!) of love, but
it produces a generous amount of the loveliest, richest, most darkly
baroque and complex sauce one could imagine--a different beast
altogether from what results from simpler recipes. it was wonderful
over huge grilled portobello mushrooms caps, and also would be good
with enchiladas, tamales, seitan (as in the recipe posted by neil
pinckney), etc. a batch of sauce is good for several meals unless
you're serving it to a crowd, so the time involved is more than worth
it, i think. as the recipe is very long and complex (and so i'm
guessing of interest only to nutcases like me), i'm not posting it here,
but am including some comments below for converting the recipe to
fatfree veggie, as well as a few tips for lightening your load on
for anyone who decides to try this recipe, my recommendations are to:
--gather all your ingredients over the days *before* you plan to make
--if you want to make your own veggie stock to use, make that ahead,
--you can also sit down with the pile of chiles and some scissors in
front of the TV some evening beforehand and have that step of the prep
done and out of the way. heck, you can even go ahead and "fry" them
--a note about chiles: if you can't find ancho chiles, don't make
mole--their flavor is absolutely crucial to the sauce. i've at times
substituted other chiles for the mulattos and the pasillas, which have
not always been readily available. guajillos were okay, and even new
mexican... any largish chile will do. avoid the incindiary small ones,
as flavor rather than heat is the concern in mole.
to convert the recipe to fatfree veggie:
--use veggie stock instead of turkey stock--a good homemade version is
best, w/ lots of garlic, dried mushrooms, and a rind or two of parmesan
if you're not vegan (tho i'm not sure whether mexican chocolate is vegan
or not, for that matter...). but use whatever you like.
--instead of frying the chiles in oil, dry-fry them on a very hot
castiron pan, pressing them flat with a spatula and turning with tongs.
IMPORTANT! take extreme care not to allow the chiles to blacken!
they should only turn a rich nut brown, which requires mere seconds on
each side in the pan. blackened chiles produce a bitter mole--and how
many times have you heard people say "i don't like mole; it's too
bitter"?! don't burn the chiles and you'll have a beautiful, smooth,
rounded mole w/ no unpleasant bitterness.
--likewise, roast the nuts and seeds a hot, fry pan instead of frying
them in lard. toast the bread and tortilla instead of frying them in
--i don't think i would substitute cocoa or even unsweetened baker's
chocolate (another cause of the bitterness that's given mole a bad
name) for the mexican chocolate--they're not remotely alike. given the
quantity produced by this recipe, the amount of fat introduced in the
chocolate is negligible.
--simmer the pureed sauce instead of frying it in lard.
if anyone gives this a try, please let me know how it works for you. i
haven't made mole in a couple of years; this is giving me incentive to
stir up a velvety batch...