I was recently sent a lovely parcel from my great friend at Spice Kitchen UK…
A great selection of Mexican chillies, chilli powders, and in that gorgeous little box, Persian saffron…how lucky am I??? The first thing I wanted to do was play with the dried chillies and make a great a new sauce for mine and my boys delectation..
I’ve read enough recipes and made enough similar sauces in the past not to need a recipe, but I did make a note of what I did in order to be able to share it..it all began with roasting lots of lovely vegetables, and soaking chillies..
4 large long red peppers, cut in half length ways and stalks & seeds removed
5 medium ripe tomatoes, cut into quarters
3 medium red onions, peeled and cut into quarters
4 cloves garlic, in their skins
2 ancho chillies
2 guajillo chillies
2 chipotle meco chillies
4 chipotle morita chillies
1-2 tbsp tomato puree
1-2 tbsp runny honey
2 tsp roasted ground cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp cocoa powder (or more if you choose)
Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to taste
Salt to taste
Please note: my versions of teaspoonfuls or tablespoonfuls are usually of the heaped variety, I tend to be quite generous with portions and measurements! I would suggest that you need to play around with the measurements, and therefore the ensuing flavours for yourself, start with my basic suggestions and add more if necessary for your tastes.
Preheat the oven to 150C
Spread the vegetables in single layers across a couple of oven trays and drizzle with oil of your choice
Slow roast the vegetables for an hour or until the peppers are all wrinkly and starting to chat, don’t let them burn, then remove the pans from the oven and let the vegetables cool, and remove the skins form the garlic cloves
In the same oven, spread the dried chillies in a single layer in an oven tray and lightly toast, just until they start to release an aroma, it doesn’t take very long at all. Keep a close eye on them as they can burn easily
Allow the chillies to cool until you can handle them, then, wearing gloves, remove stalks, seeds and veins
Break up the skins and put them into a bowl with bowling water and leave for 1-2 hours until soft
Scrape all of the roasted vegetables & juices & oil from the pan/s into a blender and, add the softened chillies and a little bit of the soaking water, and blend everything into a thick sauce; I did mine in two parts as my blender pots wasn’t big enough for it all at once
Add the blended sauce to a pan over a medium heat, with some additional oil of your choice
Add the roasted cumin and dried oregano and cook it through, mixing all the elements together
Add tomato puree and honey and stir through
Add cocoa powder and cook it through for a minute or two, then add either lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to taste, I used about 3 tbsp of lemon juice, I feel it lifts the flavour without adding a sharpness
Add salt if you feel it needs it
Cook the sauce down to a consistency you like, alternatively, you may even need to add some water to thin it, again, it’s all down to choice
Store in a clean jar. I have found that chilli sauces store well for a few weeks in the fridge. However, to be safe, you could add a thin layer of olive oil over the top of the sauce to preserve it, although the honey and/or salt should also assist in preserving the sauce.
The addition of the cocoa powder is quite typical in Mexican dishes, and it was the first time I’ve added it to anything I’ve made; it adds a real richness to the sauce, you don’t really taste it as chocolatey, but you can smell the cocoa when you open the jar, which all adds to its loveliness.
I’ve had this in my fridge for a couple of weeks now, and the flavour keeps developing and just getting better.
I’ve eaten this sauce in various ways, and am pleased to say that it’s had a thumbs up from my boys and friends of ours 🙂
This was my lunch one day this week..spiced spinach flatbread base, topped with my chilli sauce & cheese, enjoyed with a lovely fresh salsa of chopped parsley, coriander, dill, garlic, Verjus, olive oil & lots of spices…yum!!!!!!