Smashed Baby Red Potatoes with Ancho Chiles and Dry Jack Cheese

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.

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2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed, halved and seeded
3 pounds baby red potatoes (about 1-1/2 inches in diameter)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup grated dry Jack cheese or 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese and 1/3 cup grated sharp white cheddar chees
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


Place the chiles in a small bowl and cover them with hot water. Let the chiles stand until softened, about 15 minutes, then drain and chop. Transfer the chiles to a food processor and blend into a coarse puree. Measure out 1/4 cup of the puree and set it aside (reserve any remaining puree for another use). This can be made 3 days ahead time. Cover and chill until ready to use again.

Bring the potatoes to boil in a large saucepan, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 16 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let stand at room temperature.

Heat some oil in the same saucepan over medium-low heat and add the 1/4 cup of chile puree and garlic. Stir for about 30 seconds, then add the potatoes and stir to coat. Using the back of a wooden spoon, smash the potatoes until the largest pieces are about 1-inch cubes. Stir to heat through, then work in the cheese, 1/2 cup of parsley, and cilantro. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of parsley, and serve.

Recipe by Michael Lomonaco, from the November 2007 issue of Bon Appetit Magazine.