Dried Chile Hot Sauce
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I brought my mug of Healthnut Soup up to the loft just now, to eat for brunch in front of the laptop. I’ve got this awesome little
toy tool for you. For all I know, everyone and their sister uses these things; I’m not exactly with it, after all. So, if you’ve been living in a cave, as I have, it’s this cute little Mr. Coffee Mug Warmer that I got on Amazon. Going up and down the stairs to re-nuke my morning coffee is a pain, with my back. Yes, I would get more steps in, but whatever. Check it out!
Well, well; look what I dug up from the deep, dark depths of my pantry.
Apparently, a while back (like 10 years??) I was buying fresh tortillas every week from this little Mexican market, and I kept grabbing a bag of dried chiles, here and there.
All of the bags had been opened, so I must have done something with them, but I sure can’t remember what. It’s completely likely that I opened the bags, with the best of intentions, and then put them back into the pantry. Until the next time I needed fresh tortillas and bought yet another bag of dried chiles.
By the way, if you know of any place in your town that makes fresh tortillas on a daily basis, check it out! Fresh tortillas are unbelievably tender and bear almost no resemblance to the ones in the grocery store.
After hitting the salsa jackpot yesterday, with my Jalapeno Hot Sauce, I thought I’d try a red hot sauce, made from dried chiles.
All I know about chilies is that generally the smaller, the hotter. Guess I have some experimenting to do!
This recipe comes courtesy of my buddy Tyler Florence, who I used to watch faithfully. Love that guy.
Here it is!
Dried Chile Hot Sauce
1 dried ancho chile, stemmed and seeded
1 dried Anaheim chile, stemmed and seeded
2 dried chipotle chiles, stemmed and seeded
1 tablespoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1 tablespoon cumin seeds (I’m using 1 teaspoon ground)
1 tablespoon coriander seeds (I’m using 1 teaspoon ground)
1 cup hot water
8 plum tomatoes, quartered
1 medium Spanish onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 sprigs cilantro
1 tablespoon sugar
1 lime, juiced
From what I’ve learned, a chipotle is a dried and smoked jalapeno, which means it isn’t all that high on the Scoville Scale (that’s the one that rates chiles’ heat). Ancho chiles are fresh, Poblano chiles that are allowed to ripen to red, then dried. Anaheims are mild, too.
Tear all the chiles into large pieces and toast them in a large dry skillet over medium heat until they change color a bit, about 2 minutes. Add the spices and continue to toast for 2 to 3 minutes until everything is fragrant. Remove from heat and carefully add about 1 cup of hot water to just cover the chiles. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Preheat the broiler. Put the quartered tomatoes, sliced onion, and whole garlic cloves onto a roasting tray, spreading out evenly.
Drizzle with plenty of olive oil and season well with salt and pepper and sprinkle with cilantro sprigs. Broil until everything is nicely charred, about 10 minutes (you want lots of deep rich color so don’t be afraid if some of the edges get pretty black).
Add the chile mixture to a blender and puree. Remove the tomato/onion mixture from the roasting pan and carefully add it to the blender, (it will be hot). Blend until smooth (you may need to work in 2 batches). Once everything is pureed, pour the mixture back into the pot over low heat, adding a little water if the salsa is too thick. Stir in the sugar and lime juice and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to a large serving bowl and serve.
I am guessing that this will last in the fridge a couple of weeks? Just not sure.
Most of my dried chiles had handily lost their labels and been dumped into one big freezer bag. Smart move, right?
Some of these chiles were labelled, so I chose three mild Chile Guajilla Entero (with seeds) and one lone Chile Arbol without seeds.
After tasting the final product, I added more salt. It needed some heat, so I opened up one of the tiny, hot peppers and sprinkled in its seeds. Tasted again (nice excuse for eating tortilla chips!) and it still lacked heat! I Googled this tonight and it turns out that the Chile Arbol that I used doesn’t have hot seeds, after all, which explains why those seeds weren’t helping me! One of these days I’ll learn to do my Googling before I actually start cooking! I was still looking for more zing, so I added some charred Hot Portugal Peppers that I’d grown this past year and frozen. Wow. Now, we’re getting somewhere.
Since I only had a few cherry tomatoes in the house, I added half a can of diced tomatoes to the blender and some water, to thin it. I think it will develop its flavors as it sits in the fridge. I’m on the right track. But at this rate, it will take me about 30 years to go through all of my dried chiles!
If I were you, I’d follow Tyler’s exact instructions. He doesn’t specify how thin to slice the onions, but I’m thinking now that 1/2 inch slices would be better than the thin slices I cut. They burned way too fast.
This is surprisingly easy to make. Enjoy!