Marinated ancho chiles

Yield: 4 servings

Measure Ingredient
4 cups Water
1½ cup Cider vinegar
4 ounces Piloncillo or 1 cup firmly
Packed dark brown sugar
5 Cloves
8 Allspice berries
8 Black peppercorns
8 larges Garlic cloves, peeled
4 ounces Ancho chiles (about 8

Place all ingredients, except the chiles, in a heavy medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes, until somewhat reduced.

While the marinade is reducing, look over the chiles. If they are very brittle, place them in a steamer basket or platform and steam in a tightly covered saucepan over boiling water just long enough to make them slightly flexible. (Alternatively, wet the chiles slightly and place them in a plastic bag; microwave on full power for 30 to 40 seconds.) With a small sharp knife, make a small (about 1½-inch) lengthwise slit in each chile and carefully remove the seeds and veins, taking care not to split the chile any more. Rinse under cold running water, drain, and add to the boiling marinade. Cook 1 to 3 minutes until the chiles are soft but not falling apart; the exact timing will vary according to the age and condition of the chiles.

Place the chiles and marinade in a nonreactive bowl or container (stainless steel, glass, earthenware) and let stand at room temperature for at least 3 hours or preferably overnight.

You can drain the chiles and serve them as they are (no need to remove the spices). I like to stuff them with different fillings, for example; beef, pork or Chicken Picadillo or shredded cheese mixed with scallions.

Yield: 4 servings


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