Month of February: “Truly Mexican” Recipe: Basic Ancho Adobo

“At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.” Frida Kahlo

Adobos are intensely flavored chili purees used as marinades for seafood, fish and meats. Mexican cooks have been rubbing chiles on meats for centuries but the Spanish influence added the spices and garlic to the mix. In other words, this stuff has history. I found the whole process not only easy but also satisfying. It was fun to roast the dried fruit and bring them back to life with water. I felt connected to this culinary past in a way I never have before. Even though the ancho is considered one of the mildest peppers reminiscent of raisin and tamarind, it still has a kick. So be careful to wash your hands really good and avoid touching the eyes and nose during preparation.

Abby was spicy. Below she is pictured in Villadolid, Mexico with its 16th century colonial buildings excited about some sculptures that were scattered around town. She told her daughter in law Emily that “this one was her new girlfriend” and asked to have a photo taken with her. Just look at that smile!

Ingredients: 2.5 ounces dried ancho chiles, wiped clean, stemmed, slit open, seeded and deveined, 1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup Seville orange juice or distilled white vinegar (I used 3 equal parts orange, lemon and vinegar) 2 garlic cloves peeled, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1/8 teaspoon of ground cumin and Mexican oregano.

Heat a cast iron pan and toast the chiles for about 1-2 minutes until they blister using tongs to turn and press them. Then soak the chiles in enough cold water to cover until they are soft about 30 minutes. Drain and discard the water. Put 1/2 water of fresh water into the blender with the chiles and remain ingredients. Blend until smooth in a blender, not a food processor, until a smooth silky texture is achieved. Brush onto meats and seafood as a marinade and grill or pan fry.

One Reply to “Month of February: “Truly Mexican” Recipe: Basic Ancho Adobo”

  1. Hi, Do you still want me to edit? If not, just let me know. If so, there’s just a typo: you probably meant to say “Put 1/2 CUP of water” rather than “1/2 WATER of water”. Looking forward to connecting when I get back from DC. How’s Any’s BP? Love you, E

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