Feb 16, 2010

Smokin' Garlic Chili Paste

This smoky garlic chili paste is the basis for many an awesome dish.  My brother makes the best taco sauce ever by combining it with tomatillos.  I’ll show you how to make an incredible (or so I think) Mexican stew with it tomorrow. 

To see my full instructional photo album, go to:  frankie's smokin' garlic chili paste on facebook 

This recipe makes about one cup of chili paste – enough to season a large pot of Mexican stew.

You will need:
Dried mild chilies, such as Ancho, Anaheim or Guadjillo - about 10 chilies. 
Dried hot chilies, such as Japones, Arbol or Thai chilies – about 3 for a medium hot paste.
One small onion
3 to 6 cloves of garlic
salt to taste
Use scissors to cut the tops off the large chilies. Open and remove seeds.  Don’t worry about getting every last one.  Toast the chilies in a dry pan on medium high heat, turning once to achieve some blackening on both sides.  They’ll be smokin’ so I hope you’ve got a good hood over your stove!  Remove the toasted chilies from pan and set aside.

Toast a few of the small chilies (don’t remove the seeds).  I toast them separately, because the smoke coming off these babies is not something you want to get in your eyes or lungs.  I don’t recommend toasting hot chilies in your kitchen if you don’t have proper ventilation.

Put all your toasted chilies together in a bowl and pour enough boiling water over the chilies to cover them.  Place a bowl or plate over the chilies to keep them submerged while they soften.  Let the chilies soak for at least 20 minutes.

In the meantime, chop a small onion and a few cloves of garlic.

Once the soaking chilies have softened, remove them from the water and transfer to a blender or food processor.  Add your chopped onion, garlic and some salt.  Add about ¼ to 1/3 cup of the soaking water to the blender and puree.  I bet you can think of lots of great ways to use this wonderful sauce - let me know!

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