More healthy and flavorful food from south-of-the-border: orange lentils, black beans, raisins and a rich Mole Sauce combine to make this sweet and savory dish perfect as a side for salad or Oven Stewed Mexican Chicken. The slide show will take you half way through the Mole preparation, but written directions should get you to the finish. We’ll update it the next time we make this terrific sauce.
Orange Lentils and Black Beans with Mole Sauce
2 cups cooked orange lentils (See #1 below about how to cook orange lentils. For more: Lentils.)
1 cup cooked black beans
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 cup Thompson raisins
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
MOLE SAUCE INGREDIENTS:
1 medium to large Poblano Pepper
1 medium to large Banana Pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 corn tortillas cut into 3/4 inch strips
1 small carrot, diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
4-5 tomatillos, peeled and cut into eighths
2 red tomatoes, peeled and cut into eighths
1 small plantain, peeled and cubed
2 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup peanuts
1/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup almonds
1 tablespoon tahini or sesame seeds
1/8 – 1/4 cup (.5 – 1 oz.) bittersweet chocolate, chopped (add it a tablespoon at a time, tasting after each addition to determine the quantity that satisfies.)
Optional Garnishes: 1 cup crumbled Queso or Feta and chopped fresh cilantro
1. Bring 2 cups water to boil, add the orange lentils. Reduce the heat and cook uncovered stirring gently and only occasionally for 15 minutes. Longer cooking and more vigorous boiling/stirring will result in mushy lentils. Strain and set aside.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium pan. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally until translucent. Turn off the heat and add the lentils, beans, and raisins. Set aside until ready to reheat to serve.
3. Heat the broth in a large sauce pan until steaming.
4. Halve, seed, and roast the peppers over a flame on the stove until lightly charred. No gas? Broil in the oven, flipping once or twice until charred on both sides. Add to the broth.
5. Toast the tortilla strips over a medium high heat in a large frying pan. When lightly charred on each side, add the strips to the broth.
6. In the same frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onions and carrots; cook until they begin to soften.
7. Add the tomatillos, tomatoes, and spices and cook until the tomatoes break and the (sauce) begins to reduce. Add the plantain cubes and cook a little longer. Then add to the pot of broth.
8. When the mixture in the broth pot is cool enough to handle strain the solids into a food processor (reserving the liquid in the pot) and blend with the peanuts, almonds, pecans, and tahini until smooth. Return the mixture to the pot with the liquid. Heat until steaming and add the chocolate to “taste”, a little at a time. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
9. Reheat the lentils and beans. Serve with a ladleful of Mole. The sauce is also great for tamales, enchiladas, chicken, grilled fish, and oven roasted sweet potatoes!