Bowl of Red Chilies Recipe

The opposite of the Bowl of Green and its fresh, uncooked green tomatillos and chilies, Bowl of Red gets its deep, earthy flavor from dried ancho chilies cooked with vegetables and tomatoes. It can also be used as a condiment for grilled meats.

do ahead Bowl of red may be made up to a week ahead.

2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded and halved (See note below)
1 cup boiling water
2  garlic cloves, crushed
2/3 cup diced red onion
2/3 cup chopped celery
2/3 cup chopped green pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups diced canned tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 In a heavy pan over moderate heat, toast chiles, turning frequently until they become pliable, about 2-3 minutes. Add to boiling water and remove from heat. Steep 30 minutes. Remove chiles, reserving soaking liquid, and cool.

2 Heat oil over moderate heat in a medium sauté pan. Add garlic,onion, celery and green pepper and cook, covered, until vegetables release some liquid, about 5 minutes. Remove cover and lower heat, cooking slowly until mixture turns golden, about 15-20 minutes.

3 Add tomato, cumin, oregano and strained soaking liquid from dried chiles and continue to cook over low heat until mixture gets quite thick and tomatoes break down, about 20-30 minutes. If it gets too thick and tomatoes have not broken down, add back a little bit of water and cover.

4 While vegetables are cooking, scrape the fleshy part of the soaked chilies away from the skin. Add the flesh to the cooking vegetables.

5 Transfer mixture to the work bowl of a food processor.  Add red wine vinegar and salt. Pulse until smooth.

Yields 2 cups

All seasons

Note: Dried chiles are hard and brittle. Before toasting you want to remove the stem and seeds. With a sharp knife, cut across the top of chile, cutting away a small portion of the flesh that surrounds the stem. Pull away the stem. Slit chile in half. Scrape away the seeds and discard. Be careful as the chile seeds and membrane are hot and while they will not hurt your fingers, they can cause discomfort if you touch your fingers to your eyes, lips or other soft tissue. Wash hands after handling chiles. After you have removed the seeds and membrane, toast chile in a dry pan over moderate heat. The chile will become softer and pliable as it toasts. Turn chile several times to toast evenly. You will then re-constitute the chile following the directions above. 

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