A big thank you to Wholefoods for providing me with a chance at trying New Mexico Chiles. This wasn’t even something I was going out of my way to find, it was just hanging there as we were purchasing rye bread on Christmas Eve. I guess this could be described as an early Christmas present. Well, it provided me with two for not only was I going to cross off this food item, but I was also going to try out cooking with whole dried chiles for the first time.
As a child I had a bit of a bad experience involving scotch bonnet chiles, residual juices on my fingers and one of my eyes. Needless to say, I was exceedingly careful with my handing of these dried chiles so that I could escape without the urge to flee the kitchen in floods of tears. Manly tears, obviously.
Since you can’t just eat dried chiles (which is a pity as they smelt like a mix of dried cranberries and red pepper) I made a Chile Colorado sauce as following the back of the packet:
Of course I had to add my own touches to this to make it my own. I swapped out a regular onion for a pink onion, added black lava salt in place of regular salt as well as some black olives, a bit of tomato puree and some ground cocoa nibs. By the time I was done with this, the sauce smelt smokey, earthy and of the colour red.
If I had to put this chile (and the sauce) on a scale it would probably be about a medium on the curry house/Nandos scale. It was warming with prickling on the sides and back of the tongue, but with enough of a savouriness to make me want to eat this as quickly as possible. Thanks to this dish, I think I understand more what a character was saying in the third season of Food Wars about spice being addictive.