Guajillo Chile and Pineapple Adobo

The Guajillo (wha-hee-oh) chile is the most common dried chile in Mexico after the Ancho. The flavor of the Guajillo is distinct, slightly fruity with a strong piney, berry under taste. Guajillo flavors dished easily so a little goes a long way. This chile is between a 2-4 on the heat scale of 1-10. Guajillo, combined with the Passilla and Ancho, form the holy trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces.

Suggested Use:
A mildly hot chile. Use in sauces, salsa, soups and your favorite chile. A little goes a long way.

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15 large guajillo chiles, wiped clean, stemmed, and seeded
6 chiles de arbol (with seeds) wiped clean
4 cups peeled pineapple pieces (1/2-inch each, from about 1/2 pineapple)
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
10 to 12 cloves garlic
1 piece (3 inches) Mexican cinnamon bark, cut in half
1 1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cloves
6 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
Coarse salt


Heat a dry skillet over low heat or preheat a broiler to low and position rack about 8 inches from the broiler. Place guajillo chiles in skillet or under broiler and toast on all sides until softened. Transfer guajillo chiles to a large bowl and cover with cold water. Let soak until softened, 20 minutes to 1 hour. Place chiles de arbol in skillet or under broiler and toast on all sides until blistered. Set aside.

Drain guajillo chiles and rinse well. Working in batches, combine the guajillos, pineapple, orange juice, chiles de arbol, garlic, cinnamon, cumin, cloves, and 2 cups water in the jar of a blender. Blend until very smooth.

Heat olive oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Pour in blended mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is shiny and thickened, about 30 minutes. If sauce thickens before taking on a nice sheen, add water, a few tablespoons at a time and no more than 1 cup, and continue cooking.

Stir in sugar and vinegar. Season salt. Strain sauce through a very fine mesh sieve, pressing solids down with a spatula to remove as much liquid as possible. Sauce can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated up to 4 days. Reheat before using.

Makes 4 1/2 cups.

From Roberto Santibanez.