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From My Cookbook Collection: Ancho Chili Puree

June 13, 2012

What I really want to do is get to the black beans recipe, but alas, there are a few important ingredients that need their own posts prior to the Black Bean recipe. This recipe comes from Fields of Greens by Annie Somerville. Her book is filled with wonderful vegetarian recipes from the restaurant, Greens, in San Francisco. I intend to delve into my many cookbooks and share some of my favorite recipes with you.

I love cookbooks. One of these days, I’ll count how many I have so that I can give that number to you. I haven’t been keeping tracking my cookbooks as well as I have been counting the births that I have attended. Last May I hit 1000 births! Such an awesome number. I love being able to say, “Well, in 1000 births….” If you are one of my clients, you can always email me and I will give you your baby’s personal number! But back to cookbooks, you can often find a cookbook on my night stand.

So…. for the “Warm Black Beans with Chilies and Cilantro”, we are going to need Ancho Chili Puree and Chipotle Puree. You will end up making about a cup of each, but will only need a spoonful or two. You can keep the rest in your fridge as a condiment for future use, I think they keep forever!

Ancho Chilies are dried poblanos, very dark in color, and range in heat from mild to hot. I’m not that good with heat, so these are just right for me. Take yourself down to the Mission (or wherever you can purchase Mexican products) and check out all the chilies — there’s a ton! I love La Palma on 24th because they make their tortillas right there, either by hand or with the machine. They have many kinds of dried chilies, just look on the labels.

Ancho Chili Puree

4 or 5 dried Ancho Chilies

Hot Water

Pull the chilies apart by pulling out the stem and ripping the chili open. They are dry and brittle. It is okay if they crack. You just want pieces of chili without the stem or seeds. Place in a small bowl covered with the hot water for20 minutes or so. The water will turn a beautiful maroon color. When they are softened, place in a food processor, add a small amount of the soaking liquid and process to a smooth puree — that’s it! Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Chipotle Puree

The chipotle puree is even easier because the chipotles come in a can, packed with adobo sauce. Chipotles are smoked jalapeños and they are HOT!! A very little goes a long way, but gives an amazingly rich flavor. Try mixing some with butter and then spreading it on your corn-on-the-cob, nice!!

1 can of Chipotles in Adobo sauce (I use El Mexicano brand, I’m sure others are fine too.)

Dump the whole can into the food processor and ……. process! Easy! Even my cookbook says that this puree will keep “almost indefinitely.”

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