Thursday, October 29, 2009

Chili Rub Me

Suggested use: sprinkle on everything.

What do you get for a $3-4 bottle of chili powder? An ancient 1.5 oz of dull powder, a nice label with food recommendations "use with poultry, sprinkle on salad," at very least a nice sized glass jar that can be refilled with your own home-ground spices. Grocery store spices are about 1/4 of the flavor and way more dollars. I say, grind your own. Chili powder/rub is divine freshly ground with an intense color. Depending on your combinations flavors can range from fruity(guajillo) to smokey(chipotle) to severely spicy (aribol). Its fun to experiment with different dried chilies available in the latin section of your grocery store. You can find the peppers bagged and labeled with little more than its name, or by the pound in latin groceries. I like to add a few other whole spices to marry all the flavors. Cumin adds a savory-earthy flavor not to be missed. Coriander contrasts with an orangey taste.

Everyday Chili Powder

2 dried pasilla (aka ancho) chilies
3 dried guajillo chilies
5 aribol chilies
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp black pepper

Remove the stems from the peppers. Tear each pepper into small pieces. Grind all of the spice in a spice/coffee grinder working in 3-4 batches. Grinding to many chilies will burn out your motor, so take it easy. Store in a glass jar. Use in rubs, in homemade bbq sauces, chili, with mango, shake over popcorn or sauteing bacon, and everything else that requires spice. Makes about 1/4 cup.

I buy dried peppers in bulk, and store in glass jars.

Spice Grinding Tip: A spice grinder in my kitchen is pretty much a coffee grinder. After grinding spices fill with raw rice, and grind until fine. Chili powder can taste a little bit like coffee, but most people don't want their coffee tasting like chili powder. The rice will remove the flavors. I believe rock salt will do the same thing.

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