The June issue of Bon Appétit arrived and the Grilled Short Ribs with Sesame-Chipotle Mole immediately caught my attention. I have been operating under the assumption that a mole sauce always includes chocolate, but apparently this is not the case. Wikipedia tells me that mole is actually a generic term used for sauces that originated in Mexican cuisine; moles include a variety of flavors and ingredients but have one common ingredient, chili peppers.
The weather here in Denver has been downright dismal for the last few weeks. We've had rain and clouds and chilly temperatures every day. Finally the skies cleared for most of yesterday and it seems we may be turning the corner toward summer. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to get back into grilling (also, I love that grilling means very little clean up).
I can't say that I am sold on grilling short ribs, a meat traditionally reserved for slow cooking, but I am sold on this mole. The texture, with little bits of almond and sesame seeds, complements the meat and the chipotle-vinegar flavor is tangy with just the right amount of spice. This would pair well with any red meat, as well as chicken or vegetables. The recipe made double what we needed, which has me excited for pairing it with another grilled meat or some veggies later this week.
A random aside - am I the only person who says "veggies" anymore? I've recently heard the term "veg" used with great frequency, but it just doesn't roll off my tongue. Thoughts?
Sesame-Chipotle Mole Sauce
Adapted from Bon Appétit
Yield = approximately 1½ cups of sauce
Active time = 5 minutes
⅓ cup unsalted almonds (I used raw but the original recipe called for roasted)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 cup roasted red peppers from a jar, drained
2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo with a tablespoon of the accompanying adobo sauce (seed the chipotle chiles if you prefer the mole to be less spicy)
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (the original recipe calls for Sherry vinegar)
1. Pulse almonds and sesame seeds in a food processor until finely chopped. Add red peppers, chipotle chiles, and vinegar and purée until well combined; season mole with salt.
2. You can season the meat of your choice with the mole prior to grilling. The recipe was written for 1½ pounds of beef, and the original recipe suggested that you use ⅓ cup of mole to toss with the meat prior to grilling. I didn't think this added much flavor, so I'd skip that step and just use good meat and flavor it with salt and pepper or whatever seasoning you prefer. Once the meat is grilled, serve it with the mole alongside. The mole would work well with beef, chicken, vegetables and tofu.