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On Monday the United States Marine Corps announced that it would be looking into broadening women’s roles, these changes will allow women to attend infantry school in Quantico starting this summer, and allow women to serve on the ground (only in supporting roles) (1). I think this move has happened for several reasons. First, with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, American troops can be attacked anywhere (2).  This has led to the death of over a hundred women that were supposedly barred from combat therefore these women are already in combat whether or not it’s official. So when putting women in areas that are all potentially combative, it would make sense to start training them.

However the marines aren’t the only ones who have started to make some changes for women, in April 2010, the Navy allowed women to start serving on submarines. Also in September of last year, we saw the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t tell.  It seems to me that the military is attempting to change it’s image of a very traditional, hetero, male institution into something different.  After the prisoner abuse in Abu Ghraib and the harrasment and death of Private Danny Chen, I think the military is trying to reform it’s image, and in my opinion is going in a positive direction, but there is definitely a long path in front of them.

I had to put a lot of thought into what dish I would incorporate with this post about changes in the military for women, but don’t worry I think I came up with something awesome.  And for those of you who are wondering, it is NOT a sandwich, I personally find those women and sandwich jokes to be unoriginal and annoying.

So I chose to share my recipe for Mole Sauce (pronounced Mo-lay). Because after all there’s the rhyme that says, “What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice and everything nice!” and honestly that’s also what Mole sauce is–the balance of sugar and spice and a pinch of everything nice.

I was always taught to make this sauce with ancho chiles, and soaking them in water for a couple hours and then throwing in part of the soaking water later, but I figured you would actually want to this make within a day, so I changed it a little bit from the traditional recipe I was given.

  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 4-5 cloves organic garlic, pressed (you can use the back of a spoon for this)
  • 2-4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce*. (depending on spice preference)
  • 1 can 28oz crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1 box raisins (one of the small boxes you give little kids as a snack)
  • 2-3 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp  cloves (optional, I know this isn’t a common ingredient)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp  garlic powder
  • 5-7  tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder ( I use Ghiradelli or Bellagio)
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sugar (I use brown)
  • 2 cups water or chicken stock
  • 1 small square dark chocolate (or about 1 tbsp dark chocolate chips, bittersweet or semisweet)

*There’s a Latin section in my grocery store where I get the peppers, in other places it might require a little more searching.

Start off with toasting your sesame seeds. I usually forget to this and something get right before I blend…so do it now!

In a stock pot on medium heat, melt butter and sauté onions and garlic until fragrant. Add chipotle peppers, canned tomatoes and peanut (or almond) butter. Stir to combine. Add raisins and spices (chili powder, cumin, cocoa powder, cloves, cinnamon, garlic powder, salt, pepper and sugar). Cook for around 5 minutes. Transfer to blender or use an immersion blender just be careful with hot liquids. Add toasted sesame seeds and the water or stock/broth. Blend all until very smooth and then return to pot (or if you used an immersion blender its already in the pot). Bring to a bubble and then reduce heat to simmer, stirring frequently for about 20-25 minutes until it’s reduced, thick, and dark. If it gets too thick, thin out a bit with water or stock. Lower heat, Stir in chocolate and stir until melted. I tend to take my time with melting the chocolate just because burnt chocolate is the worst smell in the world. Trust me.

Use this sauce on chicken or pork chops, or in place of an enchilada sauce. It also freezes well, so enjoy!

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