Chile Arbol

Available in 1 ounce bags

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Chile de Arbol Literally "treelike," it is a lush plant with thick woody stems. Closely related to the Pico De Pajaro and the cayenne chiles. Bright brick-red, elongated and pointed, measuring about 2 to 3 inches long and 1/4 chile arbol to 3/8 inch across. Thin fleshed; has a tannic, smokey, and grassy flavor, and a searing, acidic heat on the tip of the tongue. As a powder the de arbol is great in soups and chilis.

The chile de arbol is 25,000 Scoville units. In pod form the de arbol is often used to flavor oils and vinegars.

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Recipes

Chile Arbol Salsa

1/4 Cup corn oil
6 arbol chiles -- with seeds
8 tomatillos -- husked
1 Small clove garlic -- minced
1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro --
coarsely chopped
1/2 Cup water
1/3 Cup white onion -- finely diced
1/8 Teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 Teaspoon Mexican oregano --
1/8 Teaspoon cumin

Heat the corn oil in a medium-sized skillet over

medium-high heat until hot but not smoking.
Fry the chiles, 1 or 2 at a time, until puffed and
brown, about 10 seconds. Do not burn or they
will taste bitter. Shake off excess oil from
chiles and place in a food processor.

Put the tomatillos in a small saucepan, cover with water,
and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a
simmer, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
The tomatillos will have changed color and be
soft but still whole.

Add the tomatillos to the food processor along
with the garlic. Process until finely chopped.
Add the cilantro and water and continue to process
until smooth. Add the onion, salt, oregano, and
cumin and pulse to mix. Keeps, tightly covered,
about 3 days in the refrigerator.

Salsa Picante de Chile Arbol

1 1/4 oz dried chiles de arbol (about 40 to 50
mixed size)
1 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp shelled pumpkin seeds "pepitas"
1/4 tsp cumin seeds (or a generous 1/4 tsp ground)
4 large allspice berries (or about 1/8 tsp ground)
2 cloves or a big pinch of
ground cloves
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
2 large cloves garlic peeled and chopped
3/4 cup cider vinegar
Stem the chiles, then roll them between
your thumb and fingers, pressing
gently to loosen the seeds inside.
Break in half and shake out as many
seeds as possible, then place in a blender jar.
Heat an ungreased skillet over medium low.
Toast the sesames and pumpkinseeds separately.
Pulverize the cumin alspice and cloves in a mortar,
then add to the blender jar along with the oregano,
salt garlic and vinegar. Blend for several
minutes til the mixture is orange red and quite smooth.
Stir in tequila and water to thin (about a 1/2 or 3/4 cup total).
I generally let it sit for another hour and blend again,
spoon into a jar and store in refrigerator.
Makes 1 3/4 cups

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