This recipe comes from the Good Eats episode “The Big Chili.” It’s a phenomenally versatile seasoning that can be used for anything from scrambled eggs to tacos to chili. It uses dried chiles. In South Florida, Walmart now sells these in bulk. So I just get six of each chile (double Alton’s original recipe).
- 6 Ancho Chiles
- 6 Guajillo or Cascabel Chiles
- 6 Arbol or Japones Chiles (these add a bit of heat, so you could use any dried hot chile, such as dried cayenne)
- 4 tablespoons whole cumin seeds (you can use powder if you can’t find seeds)
- 4 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoon smoked paprika (this can be hard to find at most stores; I found it at Whole Foods.)
- Cut the stem end off each of the chiles, Cut a slit in the side and shake or rub the seeds into the trash. (You might want to wear gloves if you’re processing a very hot chile.)
- Cut the chiles into small pieces and place in a heavy skillet over medium heat along with the cumin seeds. Keep the cumin and chiles moving until they start to smell fragrant.
- Remove from the heat and place into a blender. In my experience when working with this double recipe, it’s better to pulse it a few times, and don’t let it go too long. Otherwise, the blender base will get hot, and the powder at the bottom will form a a cake that prevents the rest of the mixture from becoming blended. If you have a Vitamix with the dry blade, that would be ideal. Be very careful about opening the blender as you’re essentially making pepper spray (albeit a mild one). Don’t put your face in it.
- Once the chiles and cumin are blended to a powder, add the garlic, oregano, and paprika and pulse to mix.
That’s it. You’re done. This stuff is amazing. And since you’ve been such a good audience, I’m going to give you a couple recipes that use it: