It’s early Monday morning and I am cruising the web for kitchen trinkets. I love the detail and uniqueness of a kitchen well dressed. Food just seems to taste better if it’s plated with care, and it gives the recipient a feeling of specialness. Cooking and preparing meals for folks we love is an extension of us, it lets them know that they are important.
Looking at my stats this morning gave me a jolt and I realized it’s been almost a month since last we met. July definitely had this tiger girl by the tail, so this weekend I delved into some prep work, specifically chili powder. I posted a lot of pictures on IG and FB, but somehow all the beatiful powder doesn’t get the credit it deserves in a simple pic.
Ingredients bring their own special personality to a dish and you would be selling yourself short if you didn’t take advantage of some of the simple yet bold tactics in making a recipe yours. Fresh herbs, your homemade chicken broth, and vegetables from your garden participate in fresh food.
One of my all time favorite food hacks is using fresh chili powder. Chili powder in my opinion, is glossed over much too quickly. Perhaps it’s because the old tasteless lonely packets and jars of chili powder in any given grocery store have always been a requirement say in enchiladas, but there was not much thought given in making the purchase. For years I negated the importance of this lil spice, maybe thinking it was just something that added heat or color.
These days I laugh when I think about all the years I spent strolling past those giant bags of dried chilis in the Mexican section of the grocerty store thinking “hmmm, I wonder what you do with those” and then I would nonchalantly pass them by.
Fast forward to recent times. I was introduced to using fresh chili powder by Rick Bayless. While I find him pretty annoying, the guy is relentless when it comes to fresh ingredients. His words made sense though, so one sleepy Saturday I started fiddling around in the kitchen with my food processor and a bag of dried chilis. Wholly smokes, the difference between a freshly ground dried chili in your kitchen and the awful stuff on the grocery shelves is like night and day.
There are many varieties of dried chilis and I believe they are all worth a little experimentation, so the next time you start to pass by this section of the grocery, stop, turn and a grab a bag. You will be impressed with the results from little effort.
1 bag of dried chilis
Food processor or high speed blender
Carefully remove the stem from the top of the chili
Make a slit down the chili opening it up and revealing the seeds
Take your paring knife and scrape the seeds to another vessel
It’s okay if a few seeds remain, just focus on getting most of them out
Taking about 5 at a time and whurl them into powder making sure to check for consistancy, no big chunks should be visable.
Continue until you’ve used up the bag.
Label and store in a jar!
Enjoy, and don’t let this stuff sit around too long. The point is to benefit from the freshness of the effort!