Twice so far, I have cooked Chili Sin Carne Al Mole from Vegan With a Vengeance. This stuff is amazing. AMAZING. It is so incredibly delicious. It has bits of chewy seitan, hearty beans (I used black instead of pinto as the recipe called for), sweet tomatoes, spicy jalapeño, and, of course, cocoa powder.
I first ate mole – real, delicious, sweet, spicy, mole in 2006 when I was living in southern Mexico. I had a variety of Yucatecan mole, poured over chicken (I was eating meat temporarily at the time, to get the full culinary experience of Southern Mexico) and rice. It was amazingly good. I loved just eating spoonfuls of the mole sauce – the actual chicken I could take or leave. My host mother at the time, explained to me how to make mole, and she made it seem really complicated. (Though, maybe everything was a bit complicated for me in Mexico – I was learning a new culture and a new language all at once.)
This mole, though, isn’t bad. I am, admittedly, the slowest cutter, chopper, or measurer around. Sometimes, I just get distracted in the middle of chopping and leave the kitchen for a while. But really, I am just very deliberate. If the recipe calls for a “quarter inch dice” (or something along those lines – is a “quarter inch dice” even a thing?) you better believe that my dice is going to be pretty close to one quarter inch. I read the recipe 3 times, measure twice, and add to the food mixture once. (That was supposed to be a play on the “measure twice, cut once” saying that goes with wood work…)
So, despite the fact that it took me an eon and a half to prepare the ingredients, that’s all my fault, and not the fault of the ingredients or the recipe. Up there in the picture, I have everything divided out so that I could just dump it in the pot when it was time. First, I have the red peppers and jalapeño, next I have the onions. After that I added the spices from the small blue dish. Next came the seitan and garlic. (I, as always, am lazy and use garlic-in-a-jar). Finally came the tomatoes and cocoa. I ended with the vegetable broth and the beans. After just simmering for a while (and letting it sit so that the flavors meld) I had an amazingly delicious vat of mole sauce filled with seitan, beans, and some vegetables.
I wish you could smell through the computer screen – this stuff smells amazing, tastes wonderful, and is pretty healthy, too. (It calls for 1/3 cup of oil, I think, but I reduced it to 1/4. I probably could have done with even less.)
I usually post small photos on here, but this deserved a full-sized viewing. You can see chewy chunks of seitan, hearty black beans, onions, red peppers, jalapeño peppers, chunks of tomato, and a sweet brownish-red broth of veggie stock, tomato, spices, and cocoa.
I just ate a bowl of this stuff, and already my mouth is watering looking at this picture.