May 31, 2010

Mole with "Meatballs"

Mole with Meatballs

I love the rich, smoky, savory-sweet flavors of a good mole sauce. And a great addition to a great sauce is meatballs...yum! So I was expecting a thick, rich, saucy dish of meatballs with this recipe...but it all went sort of wrong. The biggest problem was the meatballs: I used Trader Joe's Meatless Meatballs, and they COMPLETELY fell apart. I mean, they disintegrated...much like, in fact, what happened here. Note to self: don't use this brand again.

Anyhow, you actually make a sort of mole sauce with this recipe. And I say "sort of" because it isn't the thick, smoky, rich sauce you'd expect. It's sort of a (surprisingly) watered-down, much lighter version. Which wasn't a bad thing, in the end...just not what you should expect from a true mole. The sauce is basically sauteed green bell peppers, green onions, garlic, and cumin, simmered in vegetable broth and mole paste, then pureed with a bunch of cilantro. Sounds good, right? Well it was, don't get me wrong. The sauce was spicy with a fresh heat, and very bell pepper-y in the background, but not in a bad way. There were hints of nutty chocolate, and it wasn't very salty (you'll want to add some) but it was sweet. The abundance of cilantro in the sauce makes it very citrusy, almost lime-like in flavor.

The meatballs, more bell pepper, and zucchini are cooked in the sauce, and there's your recipe. The suggested cooking time (in the sauce) was 10 minutes, but this really doesn't seem like enough time to soften up the veggies. I cooked everything for 20 minutes (hmmm, maybe that's why my meatballs fell apart), but I would suggest simmering the veggies first for about 10 minutes, and THEN adding the meatballs for the final 10 minutes, just long enough to heat through.

Make again? Possibly. I'd use a different meatball brand, and I'd also do something to thicken up the sauce. Don't let this turn into a "grounds" stew like it did for me!

Mole with "Meatballs"
Vegetarian Times, March 2006


  1. I'm gonna have to try your mole sauce! :)

  2. Try this's much better