Saturday, May 25, 2013
Recipe: Homemade ancho chili oil adds spicy flare to a variety of cooking styles
It's also incredibly delicious!
There are myriad uses for the poblano pepper, and as Anastacia Quinones, the executive chef at Komali restaurant in Uptown shows us, those uses extend even to oils. By using the earthy, slightly spicy flavor of the ancho pepper (a poblano that has been dried), Quinones makes a deep, vibrantly colored and tantalizingly spicy oil that can be used for purposes that can extend well beyond Mexican cuisine.
“Instead of reconstituting the peppers with water, we replace the water with oil and kind of let them simmer,” Quinones says. “We then puree them with the oil – after they’ve been de-seeded – and then strain it. What you’re left with is the oil, and it makes for this beautiful red garnish.”
Komali uses this oil with a seared scallop dish, but even just applied to a little slice of crusty bread, its uses are limited only to the imagination.
Ancho Chile Oil
A deep, vibrantly colored and tantalizingly spicy oil that can be used for purposes that can extend well beyond Mexican cuisine.
Add the peppers to the oil in a saucepan. Put it over medium-low heat until it reaches 200 degrees -- it doesn't need to be so precise, just make sure you don't fry them. The process is to soften the peppers, not crisp them.
Maintain temperature for 20 minutes. Remove the peppers and let cool. Once cool, stem and seed the peppers.
Add the peppers and the oil to a blender, starting slowly and keeping in mind the tendency of hot food to blow up out of a blender, and puree the peppers with the oil.
Strain the oil through a strainer, then a chinois or cheesecloth. For a very clean oil, you may also strain it through a coffee filter.
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