Techniques

Chile Paste and Powder

chile powder
Chili Paste
Dried chilies are commonly made into chili paste. First, toast them in a 400˚F for 5 minutes, until they are soft and fragrant. As they cool, they should become crisp. Carefully shake out all the seeds, and discard them, along with the stems. Cover seeded chiles with hot water, and steep for 30-60 minutes. Puree the chiles in a blender. Add some steeping water as necessary to form a smooth puree. Chili paste will hold for 2-3 days in the refrigerator, and will freeze well for several weeks.

Chili Powder
To make your own chili powder, toast dried chilies in a 400˚F for 5 minutes until they are soft and fragrant. As they cool, they should become crisp. Carefully shake out all the seeds, and discard them, along with the stems. Pulverize in a coffee grinder to desired consistency.

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