Ancho Chiles Stuffed with Beans
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.
3 cups water
1/4 cup plus 1 tsp mild white or cider vingear
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh marjoram
6 ancho chiles
1 1/2 cups frijoles refritos
1/4 cup oil
1 onion, halved and sliced
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp oregano, or to taste
1/2 cup queso fresco, queso anejo, or Feta cheese, crumbled
Preheat oven to 350°F.
For the chiles: slit lengthwise along the edge, keeping the stems intact. Remove the seeds and veins. In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil with 1/4 cup of the vinegar, the bay leaf, thyme, and marjoram. Turn off the heat, add the chiles, and soak for 15 minutes. Drain the chiles, discarding the liquids.
Stuff the chiles with frijoles refritos, and place them in an ovenproof dish that is large enough to hold all of them in a single layer.
In a small saucepan, heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the onion, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until onion is translucent. Add the remaining teaspoon of vinegar and the oregano. Cook for 1 minute and pour over the chiles.
Bake the chiles in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Sprinkle with cheese and serve at room temperature.