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).

Sopes de Pollo Poblano

Yesterday’s leftover roasted chicken is slowly simmered in a deep red chili sauce with strips of fresh poblano, cumin and garlic, then spooned into a fried masa boat and topped with crisp white onions, fresh cilantro, avocado and bits of fresh cheese..

Sopes de Pollo Poblano

For the Sopes

8 oz fresh corn masa for tortillas
sea salt
1/4 cup asiento (dark lard)

Using a few drops of water if necessary, knead masa and salt together into a smooth dough.  Roll into a ball, wrap and let stand 1 hour. Divide dough into 2 large or 4 small balls then press into to ovals about 1/4 inch thick.    Flip the dough onto a hot dry comal and cook until slighty crisp and brown in spots, then use a spatula to transfer the tortilla to a clean surface.  Working quickly, use your fingers to pinch up a border about 1/2 high  around the edge, forming a boat.  Place the sopes into a well-greased skillet and brush liberally with melted lard. Shallow fry over medium heat until golden brown.

For the Pollo Poblano

2-3 pieces of roasted chicken, torn into long strips
2 ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
4 New Mexico chiles, stemmed and seeded
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1/2 small poblano, stemmed, seeded and cut into strips
salt

Briefly toast the chiles and cumin in a dry skillet, then transfer to the bowl of a food processor. Add garlic and pulse to combine, then slowly add water and process into a smooth, thin paste.  Pour chile paste into a saucepan and add torn pieces of chicken and strips of poblano. Cover and simmer until heated through, about 20 minutes.

To serve, spoon chicken mixture into hot sopes and garnish with minced white onion, cilantro, fresh cheese and avocado slices.

The post is part of The Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Platter Thursday!

Red Chili Grits

Stone-ground corn grits simmered in chicken stock with green onions and ancho puree, served with pork belly and fried eggs..

Red Chili Grits with Pork Belly and Fried Eggs

Serves 3-4  (adapted from a recipe by Taylor Ranch)

For the Grits

3 cups homemade chicken stock
1/4 green onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
3/4 cup organic, stone-ground coarse corn grits
1/4 cup ancho puree
2 tablespoons pastured butter
3/4 cup raw milk cheddar, grated, divided

Bring the stock to a boil, then add onion, garlic and salt & pepper.  Slowly whisk in the grits and simmer until tender, about 10-15 minutes.  Stir in the ancho puree, butter and half of the cheese.  Spoon onto serving plate and top with additional cheese, onions and a dollop of ancho puree. Serve with fried eggs and pork belly.

For the Ancho Puree (makes 3/4 cup)

1 cup filtered water
3 ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
1 Roma tomato, chopped
1/4 cup yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 2 minutes. Cover, remove from heat and allow to steep 20 minutes.  Transfer the mixture to a food processor and puree until smooth.