Sunday, November 2, 2008

Chili Powder

  Yesterday I made this homemade Ancho chili powder. It's not hard to do, but takes a little time.
 You start with those cellophane bags of dried chili pods from the ethnic aisle at your grocery store. Even though these 
are dry chili pods, they are somewhat raisin -y and need to be dried further in order to grind into a powder. I used Anchos and New Mexicos.
   When you take them out of the bag, inspect them to see if they are dusty of dirty. If they are, wipe them off with a damp cloth.
 Turn the oven on low, appx. 260-300 degrees. If the heat is too high, they'll burn, and your 
chili powder will taste  bitter.
 Put the chili pods directly on the oven rack, or you could use a cookie sheet. I like the rack, because they dry evenly that way.  
  When the pods come out of the oven after appx 15 minutes, they will be darker, but should still be somewhat reddish. If they turn black, you might have burned them.
The photo above is what mine looked like coming out of the oven.

Now take them apart
 by cracking in half and breaking the stem out and shaking away most of the seeds. The reason I get rid of most of the seeds,  is to have control over the amount of heat for different recipes. You can always add back heat by using cayenne, chipotle or a fresh jalapeno, in addition to the rich smokiness of this Ancho powder.

This is what I discard.

Warning, do not touch your eyes with chili 
pod hands!
 Wear a bandana over your face to avoid breathing the chili powder! 

Now put the pod part of the crackly chilis into an old coffee grinder. My old coffee grinder lost it's on thingy from the lid, so I have to use a wooden skewer to get it to grind.  At least I don't have to clean out the good coffee grinder after my spicy project. And I only make this about one or twice a year, so I don't mind the inconvenience. 
If I'm ever rich I buy myself a fancy grinder just for chili powder making. 

Here is what the three piles of chili powder in process, look like.

I dump out the finished powder on clean white paper and use it as a funnel to pour into the jar.

You can use this wonderful spice for all sorts of delicious recipes. Chili, of course, spicy rubs for grilling and cooking meat, smoky seasoning for corn and bean salad, dusting over oven baked fries or toasted pumpkin seeds. I also use it when I make tacos and enchiladas. Yumm-o-rific!


Karen said...

What a great idea... and a good excuse to turn the oven on when it's chilly outside!

Betty said...

yes Karen, it warms up the house and smells soooo yummy

LazyTcrochet said...

I bet that tastes fresh too. I never liked all the salt and sugar that you get in the store-bought kind.

Betty said...

it's true lazy crochet, this recipe is just pure chili, no salt no cumin. You might need to add a bit of cumin to your chili recipe though

followthatdog said...

that is awesome! I'm going to have to try that. I buy it from Penzys, but I'd love to make it on my own, I just never thought of it.

Erika Lee Sears said...

Wow what a interesting process. I am totally going to have to try it.

Betty said...

I'm so happy I inspired all of you to try this! yayy. My friend Grace is the one who taught it to me. Thanks Grace!

Jennifer Field said...

Sweet! Here's an alternate method for getting dried chiles into your chili: you can skip the drying step, steep them in boiling stock or water for about 15 minutes and blend them in the blender for an instant chile paste. Lovely.

Kris Cahill said...

Nice how to, Betty! Thanks, I will make this since the last batch you made for me is long gone. It was awesome!

Kris Cahill said...

PS: I posted your link on my blog today!