For dinner tonight, I'm continuing yesterday's veggie streak, making a molé-flavored chili that's so complex, no one will even realize it's a meatless Monday. I'll start with onions and garlic, add in a ground mixture with chiles, cumin, cinnamon, and other seasonings, and then stir in a bounty of leftover yellow squash, kale, tomatoes, and chocolate for an extra-roasted taste. Unlike most molé dishes, I'll be able to serve it in under an hour. To make this your next homestyle meal, read more

Pinto Bean Molé Chili

Pinto Bean Molé Chili


  1. 2 medium dried ancho chiles, wiped clean
  2. 1 dried chipotle chile, wiped clean
  3. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and cooled
  4. 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  5. Rounded 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  6. 2 medium onions, chopped
  7. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  8. 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  9. 3 yellow squash, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  10. 3/4 pound kale, stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped
  11. 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  12. 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  13. 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped (3 tablespoons)
  14. 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice, drained, reserving juice, and chopped
  15. 1 1/4 cups water
  16. 3 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  17. Equipment: an electric coffee/spice grinder
  18. Accompaniments: rice; chopped cilantro; chopped scallions; sour cream


  1. Slit chiles lengthwise, then stem and seed. Heat a dry heavy medium skillet over medium heat until hot, then toast chiles, opened flat, turning and pressing with tongs, until pliable and slightly changed in color, about 30 seconds. Tear into small pieces.
  2. Pulse cumin seeds and chiles in grinder until finely ground. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in oregano, cinnamon, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.
  3. Cook onions in oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute, then add chile mixture and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Stir in yellow squash and kale and cook, covered, 5 minutes. Add zest, sugar, chocolate, tomatoes with their juice, and water and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. Stir in beans and simmer 5 minutes. Season with salt.

Serves 6.

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