Learning to Smoke Foods on My Charcoal Grill. Summer “Grilling”, Had Me a Blast!

Mesquite Smoked Beef Brisket, my first brisket on the grill! My first real attempt on a low and slow smoked meat recipe. A couple of months ago for Easter, we smoked a country ham and we were very happy with the results. But that only took half the time compared to this brisket. Last year when I purchased my charcoal grill, the goal was to eventually smoke some meats and my new addiction, “Smoked Salsa”! You can find the recipe here on the site! So, this is my first, but hopefully not my last, entry on this subject. I am looking forward to a summer filled with delicious grilled and smoked recipes. My husband Richard and I are having the most fun learning together and sharing the experience. The whole time I was smoking the brisket, all I could think of was tacos for brunch the next day…aaaaahhhh!!

Smoked Brisket Tacos with fresh pico de gallo, toasted chile salsa and fresh corn tortillas.
Smoked Brisket Tacos with fresh pico de gallo, toasted chile salsa and fresh corn tortillas.
Here we are, Richard being silly wearing my sunglasses and enjoying the beautiful weather this past Memorial Day. Perfect for smoking a beef brisket!
Here we are, Richard being silly wearing my sunglasses and enjoying the beautiful weather this past Memorial Day. Perfect for smoking a beef brisket!
Mesquite Smoked Brisket
Mesquite Smoked Brisket, slices alot easier once chilled overnight.
Smoked Beef Brisket, Pico de Gallo and Fresh Corn Tortillas
Smoked Beef Brisket, Pico de Gallo and Fresh Corn Tortillas, the ultimate brunch!


9 to 10 pound beef brisket, I cut in half because it was easier for me to manage
*trim off some of the fat, but not all
Kosher salt
Coarse ground pepper
Dry mustard
Jalapeño powder
Smoked Paprika

 

Beef brisket with a simple dry rub, of kosher salt, pepper, dry mustard, jalapeño powder and smoked paprika.
Beef brisket with a simple dry rub, of kosher salt, pepper, dry mustard, jalapeño powder and smoked paprika.


You will also need
Mesquite wood chunks
Lump Charcoal
Disposable foil pan for water
Foil paper
Instant read thermometer

 

Maintaining the low  temperature is the key to a low and slow smoked delicious brisket
Maintaining the low temperature is the key to a low and slow smoked delicious brisket. The temperature on my grill ranged from 220 to 250 during the 6 hours of smoking.

 

1. In a bowl, combine 4 tablespoon kosher salt, 4 tablespoons pepper, 4 tablespoons mustard, 4 tablespoons smoked paprika and 2 tablespoons jalapeño powder.I wanted to keep the dry rub simple this time, but may add garlic, onion and brown sugar next time.  Rub generously all over brisket pieces. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill overnight.

2. When ready, let brisket come to room temperature before cooking. Soak 4 to 6 wood chunks in water while you prep your grill. I have a charcoal grill and this is what I did: Using a chimney fire starter and some crumbled newspaper, light the lump charcoal and transfer to one side of the grill. When good and hot, add several wood chunks that have been soaked in water.

3. On the other side, add the disposable pan filled 3/4 of the way with water. Add the grate back on over the pan with water. Once it begins to smoke, add the brisket, close lid and open bottom vents. You want to maintain a temperature between 225 to 235 degrees during the cooking period. Add more lump charcoal and wood chunks as needed.

4. I rotated the brisket a couple of times during smoking time to make sure it cooked more evenly. Now depending on how well done you like it, I got several opinions from my grilling buddies on when the brisket should be wrapped in foil. My friend David like sto wrap it once the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees and cook it until internal temperature reaches 170 degrees. But my friend Lynn suggested I wrap it when the internal temperature reaches 175 degrees and cook it until it reaches 195 degrees. I did not know about the foil wrapping when I smoked this brisket, so I cooked it until it reached an internal temperature of 190 degrees F. Let it rest for a good 40 minutes or so before I tried slicing it. I will definitely try the foil wrapping next time, because it’s supposed to keep the brisket moist.

Mesquite Smoked Brisket...I Just Couldn't Wait!
Mesquite Smoked Brisket…I Just Couldn’t Wait!

 

Cherry Smoked Pork Tenderloin. And the smoking and grilling continues! Richard and I have decided that on the nice weekends this summer we are going to grill or smoke several different foods so we can enjoy them through out the week and also store some in the freezer for later. So far, it has been working out really well. I find myself cooking less during the week. I just add a quick side and lunch or dinner is ready in a flash! For this recipe, I tried my cherry wood chips and I liked that it was a bit more mild than some of the others I have tried. I prepared a quick coleslaw and made some sliders with some whole wheat slider buns I had purchased. Richard asked for this meals several times on this week. Did I mention that I am getting addicted to this grilling and smoking idea??   Taking full advantage of the nice weather while we can! 

 

Cherry Wood Smoked Pork Tenderloin
Cherry Wood Smoked Pork Tenderloin



For  Ancho/Coffee Rub
1 teaspoon chile ancho powder
1 teaspoon instant coffee or espresso 
* if you prefer to leave the coffee out, that’s ok too
1 teaspoon kosher salt or season salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or chipotle powder

1 to 1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin
1/4 cup spicy ancho/coffee dry rub
Oil for brushing on grates
2 cups cherry wood chips, soaked in water and place in a foil pouch or small disposable foil pan

 

Cherry Wood Smoked Pork Tenderloin
Cherry Wood Smoked Pork Tenderloin


1. Mix all your spices and coffe for dry rub. Rub generously all over tenderloin. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight. Remove tenderloin from refrigerator 30 to 40 minutes before smoking.

2. Prepare the charcoal grill for indirect cooking. After lighting coals in large chimney starter and they are covered with ash, transfer then to the bottom of one side of grill. Place wood chip foil pack on coals. Open bottom vent halfway, place cooking grate in place on cool side of the grill, and close lid for 5 minutes. Desired temperature is 225 degrees F. 

3. Clean grates and brush with oil. Place the tenderloin on indirect heat or cool side. Close the lid and open top vent, on cool side, halfway. Since I am new at smoking/grilling, I turned and rotated the pork every 30 minutes.You are looking for an internal temperature of at least 150 to 155 degrees F. My grill temperature was running slightly higher for most of the cooking time and the tenderloin reached 153 degrees internally in 90 minutes. So I suggest checking the internal temperature after 90 minutes. Remove the pork from grill, wrap in foil paper and let sit for 15 minutes before slicing. Yields 4 servings.

Quick and Zesty  Coleslaw

Zesty Coleslaw
Zesty Coleslaw


4 cups green cabbage, shredded
1 red fresno or cherry pepper, finely diced
1/3 cup green bell pepper, diced
1/3 cup sweet onion, sliced thin
3 tablespoons light mayonaisse
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Pinch of sugar
Salt to taste

Combine all of the ingredients. Stir well to combine, taste for salt. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Yields 4 servings.

Smoked Tenderloin Sliders with Zesty Coleslaw
Smoked Tenderloin Sliders with Zesty Coleslaw

* Pick up a pack of slider buns, dress with hot banana peppers and sweet n spicy pickles!

 

 

Chuck Eye Steak with a Spicy Chipotle Mustard BBQ Sauce. In search of beef spare ribs for the 4th of July, I came across these chuck eye steaks. The price was right so I thought I would try them out. And since I had never heard of them before, of course I googled them, lol! Come to find out that the chuck eye steak is also known as the poor man’s rib eye. I love rib eye, but refuse to pay the high prices around here. It was described as the next best thing, so I was looking forward to grilling it. High heat on our charcoal grill and and a generous amount of seasoning on both sides. It took longer for the steak to come down to room temperature than the total cooking time! It lived up to it’s reputation. It was juicy and flavorful and very tender.The Chipotle Mustard BBQ Sauce was perfect for this  steak. My luck is that I may never find them again, ha,ha,ha,ha!! Grill On!!  
Grilled Chuck Eye Steak with a Chipotle Mustard BBQ Sauce
Grilled Chuck Eye Steak with a Chipotle Mustard BBQ Sauce

For Chipotle Mustard Barbecue Sauce 
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup shallots
1 clove garlic, minced
1 to 2 chipotle in adobo, minced
1/4 cup Dijon or yellow mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Chipotle Mustard Barbeque Sauce and a Ketchup Based Chipotle Barbeque Sauce
Chipotle Mustard Barbeque Sauce and a Ketchup Based Chipotle Barbeque Sauce. Note to self, you may want to double up on the Mustard BBQ Sauce! It was great over fried potatoes!

 

Chuck Eye Steaks, The Poor Man's Rib Eye
Chuck Eye Steaks, The Poor Man’s Rib Eye

 

You will also need
2 chuck eye steaks, about 1 1/2 pounds all together
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper or your favorite dry rub
Oil for brushing grates

1. Season the chuck eye steaks on both sides with salt and pepper or with your favorite dry rub. Set out at room temperature.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter to medium heat in saucepan. Add shallots and garlic, cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Add all of the remaining ingredients for mustard sauce. Stir well to combine, reduce heat and continue cooking for 15 minutes or until thick. Taste for salt and remove from heat.

3. Prepare your outdoor grill for direct heat on high. Brush the grates with oil and add chuck eye steaks. Grill for 3 to 5 minutes per side. Quickly brush both sides with mustard barbeque sauce and just leave on the grill for another minute. Remove from grill, tent loosely and let sit for 5 to 7 minutes before slicing against the grain. Serve with extra mustard barbeque sauce.Yields 4 servings.

Just 4 Minutes Per Side at High Heat on the Grill, Then Basted with Chipotle Mustard Barbeque Sauce. It was perfect!
Just 4 Minutes Per Side at High Heat on the Grill, Then Basted with Chipotle Mustard Barbeque Sauce. It was perfect!

 

Smoked Pork Spare Ribs July 7, 2014

Smoked Pork Ribs
Smoked Pork Ribs

Dry Rub
2 tablespoons chile ancho powder
2 tablespoons granulated garlic
2 tablespoons granulated onion
2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons dry mustard
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons lemon pepper
2 tablespoons vinegar powder
1 tablespoon annatto powder
1 tablespoon jalapeño powder
1/2 tablespoon chinese five spice
4 tablespoons kosher salt or to taste
*This rub will cover three racks of spare ribs (about 13 pounds)

You will also need
1 rack pork spare ribs, about 4 pounds
Cherry or apple wood chunks that have been soaked in water for at least 1 hour
Barbeque sauce for basting at the end, about 3 cups

Directions

1. Mix all of the spices for the dry rub. Generously season and rub onto both sides of ribs. I cut mine in half so they were easier for me to handle. Wrap in plastic and chill overnight.

2. I could only cook one rack of ribs at a time on my grill. Prepare your grill for indirect grilling. Once charcoals are hot, add in a couple of wood chunks. You want to sustain a temperature of 220 to 250 degrees F.

3. Lay the seasoned ribs onto grates on the cool side(indirect heat). Adjust the bottom and top vents, close lid and smoke for 4 hours. The only reason for opening the lid is If you are using a charcoal grill and you need to add more charcoal or wood.

4. When the 4 hours is up, baste the ribs with your favorite barbeque sauce and move to direct heat for just a few minutes per side. Remove from heat, tent loosely, and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving. 1 racks yields 4 servings.

Dry Rub Marinated Pork Ribs
Dry Rub Marinated Pork Ribs
Smoked Pork Ribs on the Charcoal Grill
Smoked Pork Ribs on the Charcoal Grill
Basted with a spicy barbeque sauce just before they come off the grill
Basted with a spicy barbeque sauce just before they come off the grill

 

Smoked Pulled Pork September 6, 2014. This was worth the all day affair! Enjoying pulled pork out of my freezer now! A farewell to summer.

 

Applewood smoked pulled pork
Applewood smoked pulled pork

10 pound pork butt/shoulder, bone in
3/4 to 1 cup homemade or store bought dry rub seasoning
1 cup apple juice
Wood chunks of your choice for smoking (I used applewood)
Disposable roasting pan
Heavy duty foil paper

Dry Rub Marinated Pork Butt
Dry Rub Marinated Pork Butt
Dry Rub Pork Butt after the first couple of hours
Dry Rub Pork Butt after the first couple of hours
After the 6th hour, time to cover and it goes for another 6 hours.
After the 6th hour, time to cover and it goes for another 6 hours.

 

1. Rub the pork generously with dry rub seasoning until evenly coated. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and marinate in refrigerator for 24 hours.

2. Remove the pork from refrigerator 40 minutes to 1 hour before cooking. Unwrap, transfer to disposable pan, fat side up, and set aside.

3. Prepare your grill for indirect cooking. You are looking for a temperature of between 225 to 250 degrees. If using wood chunks, nest a couple large pieces near the hot coals. Close lid for 5 minutes.

4. Place the pork in pan, fat side up, on cool side of the grill, close lid and cook for 6 hours. Rotate the pan and spray with apple juice every hour for the first 3 to 4 hours. Watch the temperature and add more charcoal or wood chunks as needed.

5. After the 6th hour, cover the pan tightly with heavy foil paper. Continue cooking for 6 hours or until internal temperature reads 200 degrees F. for pulled pork. Let rest for 1 to 2 hours before pulling or chopping for sandwiches. Yields 8 pounds of pulled pork.

* I had to pull mine off the grill after the 9th hour because it was too dark outside. I finished the last 3 hours in a 250 degree oven on the bottom rack.

Applewood Smoked Pork Butt after 12 Hours.
Applewood Smoked Pork Butt after 12 Hours.
Applewood Smoked Pulled Pork
Applewood Smoked Pulled Pork
Pulled Pork Sandwich with Spicy Pepper Jelly and Coleslaw
Pulled Pork Sandwich with Spicy Pepper Jelly and Coleslaw. Spicy Pepper Jelly recipe is listed under the “hot sauce” category.

 

Tortitas de Carne Deshebrada en Caldo (Shredded Beef Fritters in a Warm Broth)

 Tortitas de Carne Deshebrada en Caldo is a recipe that was adapted from my abuelita Sara. For many years now, my sister and I have been toying with the idea of writing a family cookbook. In one of our many conversations, I expressed how I wished to have been able to learn more of my grandmother’s recipes. Her cooking style was simple, always prepared with fresh ingredients and served in a simple manner. The scribbled note I wrote for this recipe was lost for a while until recently. From my sister Cristela’s memory of the soup, she described a torta (fritter) prepared with the same batter used for chiles rellenos that was filled with shredded beef. It was served in a warm beef broth with a little added rice. I can imagine it served with warm corn tortillas and garnished with fresh lime and diced chile serrano. Delicious! For this version, I added a few more ingredients to the soup base, which was the soup base my Mom  used to prepared for her caldo de albondigas.  Now everytime I prepare any shredded beef recipe, I will save some for this tasty recipe. I can still envision those milk glass soup bowls with the red trim and the red table in my abuela’s kitchen, the sounds of chickens and cows in the distance…. 

Shredded Beef Fritters Served in a Warm Broth
Shredded Beef Fritters Served in a Warm Broth



Soup Base
Olive oil
1/2 cup white onion, diced
1 serrano pepper, minced
2 chile de arbol
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
2 roma tomatoes, diced
Juice of 1 lemon, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup cilantro chopped, plus more for garnish
5 cups homemade beef or chicken broth
*This recipe is best when prepared with homemade beef broth from cooking the beef
Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh and simple ingredients always make for the most delicious recipes
Fresh and simple ingredients always make for the most delicious recipes
This soup base is best prepared with homemade beef stock form cooking the flank or skirt steak
This soup base is best prepared with homemade beef stock form cooking the flank or skirt steak

For Tortitas
1/2 pound cooked shredded beef
1 tablespoon of flour
4 large eggs, separate yolks from whites

Stiff peaks with egg whites. The beginning of many great recipes.
Stiff peaks with egg whites. The beginning of many great recipes.
Mix in egg yolks just until well incorporated
Mix in egg yolks just until well incorporated
Fold in the shredded beef to the beaten egg mixture
Fold in the shredded beef to the beaten egg mixture
Shredded Beef Fritters, Tortitas de Carne Deshebrada
Shredded Beef Fritters, Tortitas de Carne Deshebrada

1. Preheat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat in a large pot. Add the onions and serrano and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chile de arbol, garlic, cumin seeds and oregano and cook for another minutes. Add the remaining ingredients for soup base. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 20 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper. Keep soup on lowest heat setting just to keep warm.

2. To prepare the tortitas: In a skillet, preheat 1 1/2 cups of oil to medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes. In a large bowl, add the egg whites. With an electric hand mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, add in the yolks and mix just until incorporated. Fold in the shredded beef.

3. Using a large spoon, ladle in about 1/4 cup of the beef/egg mixture into hot oil. Fry 2 tortitas at a time for about 2 minutes, turning halfway through cooking times or until golden brown. Drain onto a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat until all the tortitas are done. Yields 8 tortitas. Divide the caldo into 4 large bowls, add two tortitas, garnish with cilantro, avocado and lemon. Yields 4 servings.

Tortitas de Carne Deshebrada en Caldo
Tortitas de Carne Deshebrada en Caldo
Tortitas en Caldo~Shredded Beef Fritters in a Warm Broth
Tortitas en Caldo~Shredded Beef Fritters in a Warm Broth

Dried Chiles~ Staples of a Mexican Kitchen

For as far back as I can remember, there were a few”must have” staples  in my Mom’s kitchen. Tomatoes, fresh chiles, onions, cilantro and a variety of dried chile peppers. What, no garlic? People are surprised when I tell them how fresh garlic was not used in my mom’s everyday cooking  as they had imagined. The fresh garlic was reserved for cooking frijoles or caldos (soups). I always assumed that it was because she was too busy raising eight kids, she did not have time to mince garlic, lol! Of course there was always that jar of garlic powder in the cupboard for guisados and rice. Since those days, I have learned to cook with fresh garlic and lots of it. One thing that was a constant was that storage container with half torn plastic bags of dried chile peppers, such as chile ancho and chile de arbol. The chile ancho was must for tamales, chile colorado and costillas de puerco. And with tamales, came the salsa de tomatillo, prepared spicy with the added chile de arbol.  For this blog post today, I want to share some pictures of the dried chiles I keep in my kitchen. Besides the few dishes I mentioned above, you can prepare a variety of sauces and salsa’s using the dried chiles. For the first entry, I prepared a spicy salsa recipe that was inspired and adapted from a bottle of hot sauce from my favorite Mexican chef Rick Bayless. It’s a Toasted Chile Salsa, which also includes toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and ajonjoli (sesame seeds). I have prepared many dried chile recipes and will add a few new ones to this post every month.

Dried chiles can be used in everyday dishes to add a little heat and rich red colors!
Dried chiles can be used in everyday dishes to add a little heat and rich red colors!

 

Toasted Chile Salsa

1/4 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/4 cup ajonjoli (sesame seeds)
24 chile de arbol, stems removed
2 chile guajillo
1/2 tablespoon Mexican oregano
2 cloves garlic, smashed
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1 key lime
salt to taste

 

Toasted Chile Salsa with pumpkin, sesame seeds, oregano
Toasted Chile Salsa with pumpkin, sesame seeds, oregano

 

1. Preheat a comal or griddle pan to medium/low heat for 5 minutes. Add all the chiles, pepitas and ajonjoli to the comal or griddle. When toasting chiles, seeds or nuts, you should never leave unattended because they can burn easily. Toast them for about 5 to 7 minutes, turning as needed. 

2. When the peppers become aromatic and blacken in some spots, they are ready. the sesame seeds and pepitas will also turn slightly brown in color.If you let any of them go too long, they will taste bitter. Before removing ingredients from comal, add the oregano for a minute. 

3. Transfer all of the ingredients to the blender. Add all of the remaining ingredients listed. Blend on high until smooth. You will have to psh ingredients down with a spatula a couple of times to make sure it all blends well. Taste for salt. If you want to thin out the salsa a little more, just add a little more water.

Dried chiles, herbs,nuts and seeds are all essential to an authentic Mexican kitchen.
Dried chiles, herbs,nuts and seeds are all essential to an authentic Mexican kitchen.

 

Salsa Ranchera Estilo La Costeña. I remember going home to L.A. and trips to the Giant Dollar store. Mom would purchase at least 10 jars of La Costeña brand Salsa Ranchera. Not many store bought brands she liked, but this one was delicious! This is my version of the Salsa Ranchera but with chile de arbol instead of jalapeños.

Salsa Ranchera

6 tomatillos, peeled and washed
4 chile ancho
12 to 24 chile de arbol depending on your heat level.
4 cloves garlic
1/4 of a white onion
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt to taste

*If using the fresh jalapeño, I would start with at least  4 to 5

Salsa Ranchera

Tips~For my version of this salsa, I prefer to use chile de arbol. I believe the bottled version they use jalapeños.

Salsa RancheraNot the best time for foods photos, in the evening…

Directions

1. Remove the stems and seeds from the chile ancho and just the stems from chile de arbol.

2. Add all of the ingredients, minus the oregano, cumin and salt, to a pot. Cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep for 20 minutes.

3. Drain the water and transfer to the blender. Add the oregano, cumin and salt to taste. Blend on high until smooth.

Salsa Ranchera

Chile de Arbol
Chile de Arbol is my favorite, go to pepper for many of my salsa recipes. It pairs well with tomatillos!

2Salsa Ranchera

 

Toasted Chile de Arbol Hot Sauce, a variation that is prepared with   mostly vinegar and water. I learned how to prepare an Asian style chile sauce a few years back and this is the same method I used to prepare this recipe. I did not add any sugar, but you most certainly can if you like it sweet and spicy. Besides just enjoying it as a hot sauce, I use this as a base for a spicy marinade on seafood or chicken with a little added oil , citrus and more garlic.

Chile de Arbol Hot Sauce. The vinegar will preserve this chile sauce for a few months.
Chile de Arbol Hot Sauce. The vinegar will preserve this chile sauce for a few months. The charred tomatillos gives this hot sauce a nice finish.



1/4 pound of Chile de arbol
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 cups water
2 cups white vinegar
4 roasted tomatillos (I char them on the stove top in a little oil)
1 tablespoon sugar
Salt to taste…I used about 5 teaspoons
3 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons water to make a slurry

1. Toast the chile de arbol in a skillet and medium/low heat for a few minutes. Turn it often so it does not burn. You will have some dark spots and it will become aromatic. Remove from heat and transfer to the blender.

2. Add all of the remaining ingredients to the blender, minus the cornstarch slurry. Blend on high until mostly smooth.

3. Transfer hot sauce to saucepan and heat to medium. As soon as it comes to a low simmer, whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Stir well to combine and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Taste for salt. Let cool completely at room temperature before storing in an airtight container. It will keep in refrigerator for a few months.

Toasting the chile de arbol adds a nice smoky flavor. They toast quickly. I remove them from the heat as soon as they become aromatic.
Toasting the chile de arbol adds a nice smoky flavor. They toast quickly. I remove them from the heat as soon as they become aromatic.

 

Salsa de Aceite Estilo las Carretas~ Oil Based Chile de Arbol Salsa

I have prepared this style of salsa before many times, but really did not know the true name for it, lol! The other day while browsing through youtube, I came across a food video in Spanish and there it was! I like to add some vinegar to mine for that hint of acid that I love so much.

Salsa de Chile de Arbol con Aceite
1/2 cup oil, I used an olive oil and  canola blend, plus 1/4 cup separate

1/4 pound chile de arbol, stems removed

5 chile New Mexico or guajillos, stems and seeds removed
6 cloves garlic
1/3 cup cider vinegar, or more to taste
Salt to taste
*more oil if needed

Chile de Arbol and Garlic steeped in oil for salsa
Chile de Arbol and Garlic steeped in oil for salsa

1. In a pan, combine the 1/2 cup oil, chile de arbol, new mexico peppers and garlic. Bring up to temperature at medium heat. When the peppers become aromatic, lower heat and stir often. You want the peppers to become bright red and slightly soft. Do not let them get dark or they will be bitter. Remove from heat and let cool.

2. Transfer chile/oil mixture to the blender, add vinegar, another 1/4 cup oil and salt to taste. Pulse to blend, adding more oil if it’s too thick. Yields about 2 cups.

Salsa de Aceite Estilos las Carretas
Salsa de Aceite Estilos las Carretas

 

Chile Japones
Chile Japones is very similar to chile de arbol, a good substitute when chile de arbol is not available

 

Chile Pequin
Chile Pequin is one of my favorites, hard to find, spicy, adds great flavor and heat!

 

Chile Ancho
Chile Ancho is the pepper commonly found in most dark chili powders, mild most of the time.

 

Chiles New Mexico, California and Guajillos are very similar
Chiles New Mexico, California and Guajillos are very similar and mild, but add a great vibrant red color

 

Chile Pasilla tends to be one of the darkest in color
Chile Pasilla tends to be one of the darkest in color.

 

Chile Chipotle adds some good heat and smoky flavors to your recipes
Chile Chipotle adds some good heat and smoky flavors to your recipes