Friday, August 15, 2014

Dried chiles make the marinade go round.......

Over the last couple of years I've become fascinated with dried chiles.  I've learned from some of the best authentic Mexican cooks how to use these in various dishes, and I'm still learning. One day a few months ago I got this wild hair up my.......sleeve, and decided I'd make a marinade using some.  I went into the kitchen and concocted a little brew, tasted it and sent it straight to the trash, however, I knew I was on to something amazing.  I made a second batch, after realizing I didn't need such a massive amount of vinegar, and wala, I created a beautiful and wonderful tasting wet marinade.

As time went on I used the same ingredients, but used a varying amount of olive oil and chiles and found that I not only could create a wet marinade, but also a wet rub and a paste type of rub. This is a recipe where you have the basic ingredients and you can play with them to make your own favorite consistency of rub or marinade.
The dried chiles I use for this recipe are Ancho or Pasilla chiles, the darker one  (left) which is just a dried poblano, and not hot at all, and New Mexico chile, (right) which you can buy in varying degrees of heat.  At times I even throw in some Guajillo chiles which are also very mild. Another plus to this recipe, is you can mix and match dried chiles to suit your heat taste buds.
Here is a "directory" of dried chiles and for your convenience.

Basic Ingredients:

olive oil
2 tbsp reduced sodium worcestershire sauce
2 tsp liquid smoke
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp dried ginger (powder)
1 tbsp fresh crushed garlic 
2 tbsp fresh cilantro
1-3 dried New Mexico chile pepper
1-3 dried Pasilla chile peppers

For the wet marinade (top picture) Place dried chiles, with stem and most of the seeds removed, into the food processor, and pulse as many times as needed to produce very small pieces. Then empty them into a bowl and do the garlic the same way. Then you will chop cilantro using a knife, add to bowl along with all other ingredients except olive oil.  Stir well to mix. Now add as much or as little olive oil as you want to make the consistency you are looking for.

For a darker rub, (bottom left) add chiles, garlic and all other ingredients to processor except cilantro.  Once again the amount of olive oil is up to the preparer.

The middle and last picture is with ALL ingredients chopped together in processor, the only difference is the amount of olive oil used.  For a more rustic color, add more dried chiles.

Here is an assortment of just a few of the meats I've used the recipe for.  This is also great to use on veggies before grilling.

For larger items like whole or half chickens, skirt steak, brisket, etc. I normally rub or put in the wet marinade and let sit in fridge overnight.  For steaks, chops, sausage or individual pieces of chicken I would try and let them sit for at least 4 hrs.  For burgers I simply rub and grill.  It's all up to a person's individual preferences.

Hope you try it sometimes, ENJOY

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