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I'm a huge fan of mole sauces, but sometimes I don't want to go through all the effort to make some. This dried chile pepper sauce uses less ingredients and comes together much quicker, making it something you can make more regularly. I love using it on steak, lamb, or pork. I often like to thicken it up by turning it into an agar fluid gel, something that gives it a ton of body without changing the flavor profile.
You can use any dried chile peppers you want but my favorites are a mix of Guajillo, ancho, and chipotle. I call for chicken stock due to the richer flavor, but you can use vegetable stock or water for a vegan or vegetarian sauce.
If you don't have, or want to use, agar, just reduce the amount of chicken stock by half, then after pureeing it, then let it reduce on the stove until it has thickened.
The sauce will usually last in the refrigerator for a week or two and can be made ahead of time.
Note: You can learn more about agar agar from viewing all my Agar Agar Recipes.
Professional Tip: This recipe is written for home cooks and the measurements are rounded. For a more exact recipe the goal is to use the agar agar in a 0.75% ratio with the liquid. You can measure the liquid and combine 0.75% agar to it, or .75 grams of agar per every 100 grams of liquid. This will result in identical measurements every time and if you are scaling the recipe then gram measurements should be used instead of cups and teaspoons.
Measuring Note: Many home cooks are intimidated by using modernist ingredients because they are usually measured in grams. This recipe simplifies the process and uses regular volume measurements but I do recommend reading about how to measure modernist ingredients for a detailed look at why grams are more effective. This is especially important if you are going to scale a recipe up or down, or are working in a professional kitchen.
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Heat a pan over medium heat. Add the chile peppers and cook until fragrant and just browning, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the almonds, pumpkin seeds, and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the vinegar, chicken stock, and agar then blend well with an immersion blender or standing blender.
Bring the mixture back to a boil while stirring regularly. Let simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Remove from the heat and let cool fully until gelled.
Puree well with a standing blender or immersion blender until smooth. It is now ready to be served.
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