Ancho (Ahn-cho) Chile (Capsicum Annum) means Wide Chile Pepper. This chile ranges from 3 – 4 on a heat scale of 1 to 10. An Ancho is the dried form of a Poblano Pepper and often is mislabeled as a Pasilla or Mulato Pepper. Anchos have sweet fruity flavor with hints of cherry, prune, and fig. Anchos, combined with the Pasilla and Guajillo, form the Holy Trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces. Scoville heat units are 1,000 to 3,000.
Anchos are great in salsa, soups, enchilada and any sauce needing mild heat and chile flavor. Chopped, pureed or ground, they can be added directly to your recipes.
1/4 cup dried Mexican oregano
1/4 cup corn oil
5 dried chipotle chiles, stemmed, seeded and deveined (wear rubber gloves)
5 ancho chiles, seeded and deveined (wear rubber gloves)
25 garlic cloves
1-1/2 cups coarse salt
In a small heavy skillet dry-roast oregano over moderate heat, shaking skillet occasionally, until fragrant and beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and allow oregano to cool completely. In an electric coffee/spice grinder grind oregano until fine
In a heavy skillet, heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, and using tongs, fry the chiles, 1 to 2 at a time, turning them until puffed and just beginning to brown, about 10 seconds. (Do not let chiles burn or rub will be bitter.)
Transfer the chiles as fried to paper towels to drain and cool until crisp. Wearing rubber gloves, break the chiles into pieces and in a coffee/spice grinder grind fine in batches. In a food processor grind oregano and chiles with garlic and salt until mixture is a shaggy, salt-like consistency. If mixture seems moist, on a large baking sheet spread it into a thin, even layer and dry in middle of an oven set at lowest temperature until no longer moist, about 1 hour. Wearing rubber gloves, break up any lumps with your fingers.
Makes about 3 1/4 cups.
NOTE: Ancho-Chipotle rub keeps in an airtight container, chilled for 6 months. Regrind rub before using.