nutty sauces

Nuts can be used to flavor and thicken sauces.
Most of the mole sauces have several kinds of nuts in them.  

A. pollo encacahuatado
= chicken with peanut sauce

This sauce is seemingly very popular in Mexico.

Several internet recipes make it with peanut butter instead of from scratch. I don't like peanut butter. Not surprisingly, I don't like this sauce very much either. It tastes like diluted peanut butter to me.

I mention this sauce here because it was my stepping stone for the other sauce on this page. I started making the peanut sauce, immediately changed my mind after the very first tasting.  


This is what you need for 2 servings:

  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • 2 chiles ancho, rehydrated
  • 1 garlic clove
  • olive oil
  • S&P
  • 2 pieces chicken


  • cinnamon
  • 11 whole clove
Pic1a: pollo encacahuatada
= chicken with peanut sauce
internet picture


B. peanut & fruit mole
    aka nutti-frutti sauce


I didn't like the peanut sauce straight up, so I set about to changing it into something that was more palatable to us. My final ingredient list is unusually long for me, but the end result was worth it. Switch out the tomatoes in favor of more chile peppers, and this would truly be a delicious and fruity mole sauce.

The final sauce still smelled like peanuts, but we could barely taste them anymore. The fruits dominated the flavor palette.  

I have served this over beef and over chicken, both times with great success.


This is what you need for 6 quarts:

  • nuts + seeds: 1/2 cup each:
    • peanuts, unsalted roasted
    • shaved almonds
    • pumpkin seeds (pipian)
    • sunflower seeds
    • walnuts or pecans
  • fruits:
    • 1 cup pitted prunes or dates
    • 1 cup dark resins
    • 1 lime, juiced
    • 2 plantains
      or if not available: sweet bananas
    • 1 cup diced mango
  • peppers:
    • 2 chiles pasillo-ancho
    • 1 chipotle pepper
      or 1 tsp. chipotle powder
    • 1 tbsp. paprika powder
  • olive oil
  • garlic, 3-4 cloves, peeled, minced
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 medium onion, chopped small
  • 2 tbsp. raw honey
  • 2 old bread rolls
  • 2-lb. beef roast
  • 8 new harvest potatoes
Pic1b: peanut & fruit mole sauce



Pic2: a larger piece of 'special trim' beef, cooked stovetop
Pic3: after 25 minutes
Pic4: slice and serve




Pic2: seeds & nuts, oil, paprika
Pic3: beef broth, 2 ancho chiles
Pic4: add 1 minced potato


Pic5: chiles with broth
Pic6: strain out peels and seeds
Pic7: pureed chile with broth = mole starter


Pic8: blending nuts, tomatoes
Pic9: add meat
Pic10: add potatoes


Pic11: add bread
Pic12: simmer
Pic13: served