Toasted Onion and Ancho Chili Jam

Toasted ancho chiles, onions, garlic, cumin and coriander with apple cider vinegar and a touch of wild guajillo honey..

Toasted Onion and Ancho Chili Jam

For the Jam

1/4 pound dried Ancho chiles
1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
1 head garlic
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, cracked
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, cracked
2 tablespoons raw cider vinegar
a few drops of hickory or mesquite liquid smoke (optional)
2 tablespoons olive or peanut oil, divided
1 tablespoon (or to taste) wild guajillo honey
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Split the Ancho chiles open and remove the stem, seeds and ribs.  Lightly toast on a dry comal for about 20-30 seconds on each side.  Take care not to let the peppers burn or they will become very bitter.

Transfer the chiles to a glass bowl and cover with just-boiled water.  Allow to steep 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the top off of a whole head of garlic, brush with olive oil, wrap in foil and roast for a half hour at 400 degrees.  Allow to cool.

Meanwhile, toast the chopped onions on a dry comal over medium heat until golden brown.  Add the cumin and coriander and toast another minute, again taking care not to let it burn.  Allow to cool.

Squeeze the garlic into the bowl of a food processor and add the  softened chiles and vinegar and pulse a couple of times into a thick, chunky paste.

Transfer the chili mixture to a bowl and stir in the seasoned onions and garlic.  Add honey, salt and pepper to taste.

Ancho chili jam is delicious with grilled, roasted or smoked meat, fowl or sausages (venison, bison and wild boarsausage shown).

13 thoughts on “Toasted Onion and Ancho Chili Jam

  1. Scrumptious! I think it would be splendid on a grilled cheese sandwich too. Just out of curiosity, is liquid smoke a natural ingredient? I’ve always been afraid to use it because it seems like a chemical.

    1. Funny, I was thinking the same thing about the grilled cheese. I may have that for lunch!

      I used to assume that liquid smoke was some evil chemical compound too, but it turns out that its entirely natural. Here’s how one manufacturer describes their method..

      It isn’t a health tonic, of course and there are differences between brands, so read the labels carefully and use your best judgment.

      **For an extensive analysis of water based liquid smoke flavoring see the following references:

      1. Guillen, Maria D. and Maria L. Ibargoitia, J. Agric. Food Chem., 1998, 46, pp. 1276-1285.

      2. Guillen, Maria D., Maria J. Manzanos and Lourdes Zabala, J. Agric. Food Chem., 1995, 43, pp. 463-468.

    2. I took your advice and spread some of the jam on a grilled cheese sandwich. OMG, was it good!

      Grilled Cheese with Ancho Jam

      Alternative bread
      2-year Vermont Cheddar
      Toasted Onion & Ancho Chili Jam
      a little cultured butter for the pan

      1. Thanks for the info on the liquid smoke….and my goodness that grilled cheese looks incredible! I will be sure to follow suit! You got me guessing again–alternative bread??? Is that a brand or do you have a gluten-free alternative or something?

        Off to my local co-op to scope out the liquid smoke scene!

        1. Oh, sorry, that’s a local thing (HEB Central Market)

          “Whole-grain loaf-style bread with a very soft crumb. Contains flax, quinoa, amaranth seeds and kamut, Tef and whole spelt flour.”

  2. Hi Ren!
    I second Mallory’s question (I’d like to know what the ingredients are, too, as I haven’t bought it before), and have to leave this boring comment, just so I’m sure to be emailed when you reply! :)

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