Red Chile-Cumin Vinaigrette

New Mexico Chiles are the dried form of the Red Anaheim Pepper. This chile has a thin flesh with an earthy chile flavor and undertones of wild cherries. This chile ranges from 2 – 4 on a heat scale of 1 to 10. The New Mexico Chile may be referred to as the California Chile or Chile Colorado. New Mexico Chiles are commonly used in Red Mexican or Southwestern sauces and is grown in Mexico. This mildly hot chile. Scoville heat units 8,000 – 12,000.

Suggested Use:
New Mexico Chiles are mildly hot and very popular in Southwest cooking. Great in sauces, salsa, rice dishes, stews and soups. Add directly to the cooking liquid along with other spices. Use in stir fry, or add to chicken or fish marinades.

Heat Scale
Submit Recipe



1 tsp. cumin seeds
2 dried New Mexican chiles, stems removed and torn into pieces
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 jalapeno, preferably red, chopped
1/2 tsp. finely chopped shallot
1/4 tsp. chopped garlic
6 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. canola oil
salt and freshly ground pepper


In a small skillet, toast the cumin seeds over moderately low heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool, then grind to a powder in a mortar or spice grinder.

In a mini processor, blend the cumin, chiles, cilantro, jalapeno, shallot, garlic and rice vinegar. With the machine on, add the oil until the vinaigrette is emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.

Recipe by Kevin Maguire from The “Sedona Spirit” in the January 2000 issue of Food and Wine Magazine.