Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cooking with dried Ancho peppers & Dried New Mexico peppers

Over the years, I've looked at the big bags of dried peppers for sale in the Mexican food section of the grocery store, but I've always stuck to prepared enchilada sauce for making my favorite Mexican dishes. Hubbycame across a recipe for a pork dish that called for dried New Mexico chili last Fall....we bought a large bag for that recipe and while it didn't turn out very well, I soon found a use for all the left over peppers.

I was making lots and lots of tamales last December. I was using 2 large cans of enchilada sauce for about 6 dozen tamales. Instead I decided to try using the dried peppers. I first removed the stems and seeds and rinsed the peppers in cold water, then I added about 6 of them to the meat cooking in the crockpot.

When the meat was done, I fished out the cooked peppers and put them in the blender.  I pureed them and then added some of the meat broth.  I was surprised at how much this looked and tasted like enchilada sauce.  It wasn't quite spicy enough for Hubby, but the kids thought it was GREAT.  Since I usually end up making two separate pans when I make most Mexican dishes anyway, I just add a bit of extra HEAT to the pan for Hubby and I.

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