Challenge Accepted: Only One Man’s Mole Poblano

I don’t have a great story to tell here, guys.  There’s no nostalgic reminiscence of the mole grandma used to make, because grandma never used to make mole. So I don’t really know where this mole challenge came from to be honest.  Maybe because #2 lives in a place where he actually can forage for the seeds necessary for a good mole.  Maybe because #4 can now allocate to cooking the time he spent in grad school thinking about Detroit playgrounds and “the performative capacity [of color] to alter the spatial performance of the land and its surrounding context.” Maybe because you guys figure I learned a thing or two about making mole in Oaxaca?

Well, I didn’t.  I just ate lots of it.  Which is why I pretty much picked up on the first mole recipe I came across and went for it. We call that Classic Conservative Hearschbees ‘round these parts. In other words, I think I made just about the squarest mole poblano you could make – the only way this mole could get more square is if it had a degree in actuarial science and came with a side of pleated khakis.

But I did go over all of your helmets and add one garnish I’m offering up for creative points:

I dare give you the raspberry!

I'm having trouble with the radar sir.

I’m having trouble with the radar sir.

Conservative or not this stuff was fairly breezy to make, with a smoky complexity and nutty richness that played nice with browned chicken over a couple of savory hours in a crockpot. Without further ado I submit Only One Man’s Mole Poblano to Grimm Challenge #1!

Ingredients – based on this

Get yourself to a store that has an aisle with all of this business – the more surly and aggressive looking the chiles, the better:

Capital Market strikes again

Capital Market strikes again

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1.5 oz chiles anchos, about 3 or 4, stemmed and seeded
  • 1.5 oz chiles pasillas, about 6 or 7, stemmed and seeded
  • 1.5 oz chiles mulatos, about 3, stemmed and seeded
  • 1/5 oz dried chipotle chiles, about 2-3, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 white onion roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons raw almonds with skin
  • 3 tablespoons raw shelled peanuts
  • 3 tablespoons raisins
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • 4 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup reserved chile seeds (from the peppers you deseeded
  • 1/4 teaspoon anise seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 lb roma tomatoes
  • 1/3 lb tomatillos, about 2, husked, rinsed, charred/roasted
  • 2 corn tortillas, sliced in 8 pieces
  • 6 oz Mexican style chocolate or bittersweet chocolate
  • 2.5 cups chicken broth (plus 2 more cups to dilute later on)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or more to taste
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds, toasted, to sprinkle at the end
  • 1/2 cup raspberries (for Lonestar!)


1. Heat the oil for a minute or two, then add the chiles in batches, sauteeing until you get a nice smoky flavor.  Be very careful that they don’t burn – a couple of mine did, they tasted nasty, and had they been added only Dad would have eaten this mole. Remove the chiles but you’ll sautee everything else in the pan.

IMG_17322. Add the garlic and onion to the chiles and sautee for a few minutes.

3. Add the almonds, peanuts, raisins, and pumpkin seeds and cook for 2-3 minutes

Not for the allergic

Not for the allergic

4. Stir in the sesame seeds, anise seeds, coriander, black peppercorns, cinnamon stick, and thyme.  If you want the spice, add the chile seeds that you saved. Let that all cook for 3-4 minutes.

Cut the peppers...

You’ve cut the peppers… the seeds...

…save the seeds…

...add them here.

…add them here.

5. Add the tortilla, tomatoes, and tomatillos (tortilla will thicken things up a bit) and cook for a few minutes

6. Add the chiles and chicken broth to the mix. Bring to a simmer, then add the chocolate and salt. Let it all simmer for about 20 minutes.

Almost as many ingredients as Dad's cereal

Almost as many ingredients as Dad’s cereal

7. Remove from heat and puree the mole in batches.

8. Now this is where the crock pot saved me – the peppers were still quite flaky and textured, not a good feeling, so I put everything in a crock pot for a few hours and everything got soft and soupy.  If you don’t have a crock pot, you’ll probably want to let this simmer for quite a bit more than 20 minutes.

9. Serve with whatever you want, but sesame seeds and some crema make a nice garnish along with avocados. Tortillas for sure.

Alright, let’s see what you got Grimms! After seeing the duck mole pizza pretty sure I may lose this. Enter Rick Moranis … “That’s not all he’s lost…”


2 thoughts on “Challenge Accepted: Only One Man’s Mole Poblano

  1. The list of ingredients is intimidating! Thanks to you Grimms who take the time to experiment and post, one day #1 and #1-in-law will bust something out!

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