Every year we host a “Leftovers Party” a few days after Thanksgiving for our friends and family. The goal of the party isn’t just to eat up all the leftovers but to test my creativity and ability to come up with a new dish.

One of the hardest leftovers to work with was the remains of a pumpkin pie. To completely reinvent a dish would mean to turn a sweet dish into a savory one. This pumpkin mole does just that. With a hint of sweet to cool off the spicy peppers, this mole is delicious and screams fall comfort food.

Before we get into the recipe, let me state this is not a traditional mole with twenty-some ingredients. But it is a simple, delectable, deep rich sauce; though it does not require a pumpkin pie. Roasted or canned pumpkin will work just fine.

Set your leftovers free, and you will be rewarded — hopefully with this gorgeous pumpkin mole!
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Pumpkin Mole

  • 1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree (you can use left over pumpkin pie or a combination of puree and pumpkin pie)
  • 3 dried peppers (I used 1 ancho, 1 chili and a 1 small red one)
  • 2 -3 cups of hot water
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
  • 2 1/2 cups of broth, as needed
  • Salt

Place the dried peppers in a bowl, cover with about 2-3 cups of hot water and soak for 10 minutes. Remove the stem from the pepper (I leave the seeds in for more heat; you can remove if you prefer) and place into a blender. Add in the soaking liquid, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, chili powder and pumpkin seeds.

Blend until a smooth sauce forms, adding the broth as needed to thin the sauce to the preferred consistency. You will need to blend this much longer than you think in order to get this smooth; have patience. Add salt to taste.

Pour the mole into a saucepan and keep warm until ready to use. The mole will last a few days stored in the refrigerator.

Turkey Enchilada Filling

  • 2 cups cooked turkey, shredded (substitute chicken or pork, or tofu for a vegetarian option)
  • 1 leek or onion, chopped
  • Drizzle of canola oil
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 cup broth
  • salt and pepper
  • Queso Fresco, crumbled
  • Corn tortillas

Caramelize the leek in the oil over medium low heat. Add in the chopped pepper and saute for a few minutes. Add in the beans, cooked turkey, broth and a good pinch of salt and pepper for taste. Simmer 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

For an easy casserole, layer the tortillas, turkey filling, cheese and pumpkin mole sauce in an oven dish and reserve a few cups of the mole to serve on the side. Bake until the mole is bubbly and the cheese is slightly melted — about 20 minutes.

Or roll the turkey filling in the corn tortillas, place seam side down in an oven pan, pour most of the the mole over the top. Sprinkle with the cheese and bake about 20 minutes until everything is warm.

Serve with a little extra mole on the side.

Fat and Happy Food Blog Tips and Techniques: While I’m impartial to roasting pumpkin from scratch, canned pumpkin works great.

For more recipes, go to Monique’s blog: FatandHappyBlog.com

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