Hearty Mole Chili
This Mexican chile pepper is called “Chilaca” when used fresh. In California the Poblano chile is often called Pasilla. Since most of these are bought and distributed from California this mislabeling often carries over into the supermarkets nationwide causing alot of confusion. This chile is very mild and is usually consumed in the dry form to make the famous Mexican ‘mole’ sauces.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 large carrots, peeled, and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 chipotle chili in adobo, seeds removed, minced
1 tablespoon adobo
½ cup white wine
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 large poblano or pasilla peppers, charred, steamed, seeded, peeled, and diced
28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
15-ounce can black beans, with liquid
15-ounce can white beans, with liquid
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 cups frozen corn
½ cup green onions, washed and thinly sliced
½ cup fresh cilantro, washed and minced
Optional toppings: sour cream or non-fat Greek yogurt, grated sharp cheddar, crumbled cotija cheese, sliced avocado
In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes. Add celery, carrots, and minced garlic. Sauté for an additional 3 minutes.
Add espresso powder, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, chipotle chili, and adobo and cook for about 2 minutes. Deglaze the pot by adding the white wine and scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen up stuck residue.
Add the chocolate, poblano peppers, tomatoes, black and white beans, water, and soy sauce. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes and then add the frozen corn. Cook for an additional 15 minutes and then remove from heat. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Top with green onions and cilantro. Garnish with optional toppings.
Roasting peppers like poblanos is one of the easiest ways to add smoky depth to any dish. Start by removing any stickers or wrappings from the peppers and wash and dry them. Turn on an overhead vent if possible, or open a window before roasting. Using long metal tongs, place the pepper directly onto a gas-stove burner on high. Rotate the pepper every minute to get an even char on all sides. The pepper should be completely black when done. Place the hot roasted pepper in metal bowl and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let steam at room temperature until cool. Once the peppers are cool, the char will peel right off. Remove seeds and core before use.
If the chili is a bit too sweet for you, try adding a teaspoon of vinegar to the pot and letting it simmer. The vinegar will act as a savory complement to the sugar.