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Adobo De Chile Passila

Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 1 people

Recipe Ingredients

1 teaspoon 5mlGarlic bulbs - broken and unpeeled (small)
12 teaspoons 60mlPasilla chiles - dried (large)
2 teaspoons 10mlMexican oregano - dried
1/2 teaspoon 2.5mlBlack pepper - freshly ground
1/4 teaspoon 1.3mlCumin seed - freshly ground
3/4 teaspoon 3.8mlSalt

Recipe Instructions

THE GARLIC AND THE CHILES. Set a heavy ungreased skillet or griddle over medium heat. Lay the unpeeled garlic on the hot surface and let it roast to a sweet mellowness, turning occasionally, until soft when pressed between your fingers (you'll notice it has blackened in a few small spots), about 15 minutes. cool, then slip off the papery skins and roughly chop.

While the garlic is roasting, break the stems off the chiles, tear the chiles open and shake and/or pick out all the seeds, for the mildest sauce, be careful to remove all the stringy, light-colored veins. Next toast the chiles (to give them a richer flavor) a few at a time on your medium-hot skillet or griddle, Open them flat, lay them on the hot surface skin-side up, press flat for a few seconds with a metal spatula (if the temperature is right you'll hear a faint crackle), then flip them. (If you pressed them just long enough, they'll have changed to a mottled tan underneath. If you see a slight wisp of smoke, it's okay, but any more than that will mean burnt chiles and bitter taste) Now, press down again to toast the other side (you won't notice as much change in color on the skin side). Transfer the toasted chiles to a bowl, cover with hot water and let rehydrate for 30 minutes, stirring regularly to ensure even soaking. pour off the water, reserving about 2/3 cup.

THE PUREE. If you're using whole spices, pulverize the oregano with the pepper and cumin in a mortar or spice grinder, then transfer the ground spices to a food processor or blender, along with the drained chiles, the garlic and the reserved soaking liquid. Process to a medium-smooth, thick puree, scraping and stirring every few seconds. (If you're using a blender and the mixture won't move through the blades, add water a little at a time until everything is moving, but still as thick as possible. Not only is a soupy mixture a watery, uninteresting marinade, but the pureeing capabilities of the blender are much reduced when too much liquid is added.) Taste and season with salt

ADVANCE PREPARATION - Covered and refrigerated, the seasoning will keep for a week or more, it can be successfully frozen.

TRADITIONAL DISHES THAT USE THIS ESSENTIAL AS A STARTING POINT - Spicy Pasilla-Mushroom Tacos, Layered Pasilla-Tortilla Casserole, Seared Lamb in Swarthy Pasilla-Honey Sauce


OTHER CHILES YOU CAN USE - While this recipe looks similar to that for ancho, the fact that it used the soaking liquid and more garlic gives it a balance just right for pasilla. Mulato could work here, though it doesn't have the roundness of pasilla. As with Ancho Chile Seasoning Paste, you can embroider pasill with a chipotle for a smoky edge.

NOTES : Pasilla is one of the most sophisticated chile flavors, pungent and tangy, deeply rich and woodsy. When you're used to using the gentler Ancho Seasoning Paste, graduate to pasilla. The techniques for making it are the same as those our encounter with the ancho seasoning. Here, we accentuate and balance their muscley, less-sweet flavor by using their soaking water, adding more garlic and elaborating their woodsiness with more herbs, fewer spices.

Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen


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