Pictured Above: Dried Chile Ancho
Adding chile to your favorite recipes doesn’t necessarily mean that you dishes will burn your mouth, or be too spicy for your family. Chile Ancho is very mild in terms of heat levels, but is deeply flavorful, adding tones of smoke, coffee and dried cherries.
Using dried chiles in your cooking may seem a bit time consuming, but the flavor is way beyond what a powdered seasoning mix can ever achieve. Once you have mastered making chile paste from dried chiles, you are ready to incorporate the complex flavor of chile into your recipes.
Here are some ideas for using Chile Ancho paste in your cooking:
- · Add Chile Ancho paste to chicken soup to make a Southwestern style Tortilla Soup (about 1 tbls of paste per quart of soup)
- · Add 1-2 tablespoons Chile Ancho paste to 2 cups of barbecue sauce for richer flavor
- · Brown 1 lb of lean ground beef, add 2 cups fresh tomato puree, 2 tbls of Chile Ancho paste, salt and pepper for a quick batch of Southwestern chili, and serve over white rice.
- · For a taco filling, shred 1 lbs leftover cooked pork or chicken, reheat in a skillet adding 2 tbls Chile Ancho paste and ½ cup water, salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes, reducing water. Roll filling mixture into hot tortillas, serving lettuce, chopped tomatoes, shredded cheese and chopped onions on the side.
- · Make Seasoned Butter - Mash together 1 stick of softened butter with 1 tbls Chile Ancho paste, 1 clove minced garlic and 1 tbls chopped chives to make a seasoned butter for corn bread or as a topping for grilled shrimp. Remember to chill the butter after the other ingredients are mashed in, so that the butter is firm. For easier portioning, you can reshape the chilled prepared butter into a cylinder by wrapping it in a piece of waxed or parchment paper, and rolling it into a log shape. Return the wrapped log of butter to the refrigerator to keep chilled until you are ready to serve your meal.