It turns out that mole—the catch-all term, pronounced MOE-lay, for a wide range of Mexican sauces involving chile peppers—isn't hard to make. Most versions just require a ton of ingredients and an equal amount of patience. The reward? Holy, indeed.
Chef Akhtar Nawab of New York City's Choza Taqueria makes a simple mole from charred tomatillos, serrano chiles and garlic laced with smoky cumin, cinnamon and clove. The real game changer, however, is the addition of roasted pistachios.
This sultry slather is currently used to sauce costillas tacos, built from mole barbecue-braised short ribs with grilled celery root and crispy leeks at Chicago's Mercadito, Executive Chef Patricio Sandoval.