Makes 4 servings (2 ½ cups sauce)

There are many versions of mole, a dark, reddish-brown Mexican sauce. Its best-known ingredient is a small amount of Mexican chocolate, which contributes richness to the sauce without adding overt sweetness. Americanized recipes call for bitter or semisweet chocolate, and this adapted recipe also calls for coffee. The sauce is usually served with poultry, but it's also delicious with shrimp or pork.

For the shrimp

1 cup beer

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

24 medium shrimp, shelled and deveined

For the mole

¾ cup strong, hot coffee

2 ancho or poblano chilies, each about 3 by 2 inches, seeded and torn into ½-inch pieces

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 small onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup slivered almonds

¼ cup golden raisins

One 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes with juice

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cumin

Pinch of ground cloves

½ ounce semisweet chocolate, chopped

Salt to taste

Coffee, water, chicken broth, or cream, if needed to thin

To complete the recipe

1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley for garnish