Ancho Sweet Potato Puree

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.

Suggested Use:
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.

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5 pounds sweet potatoes (about 6 large)
3 or 4 dried ancho chiles (about 1 1/2oz.)
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter or to taste

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with foil. Prick the sweet potatoes in several places with a fork and bake on baking sheet in middle of oven until tender, about 1 hour.

Cool potatoes until they can be handled.

Wearing rubber gloves, stem and seed the chiles and tear into 1″ pieces. In a small saucepan bring the chiles and cream to a boil. In a blender puree the mixture until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids).

Scoop the flesh from the sweet potatoes , discarding the skins and puree in a food processor with the cream mixture, salt and 2 Tbsp. of butter.

Puree may be made up to this point 1 day ahead and cooled before being chilled, covered.

Transfer the puree to a large saucepan and heat over moderate heat, stirring until hot, then stir in more salt and butter if desired.

Approximately 6 servings.

Recipe from Gourmet Magazine.