There a 4 main things to take into account when using dry chillies outlined below.
1. For the chilli purist the maximum depth of flavour will be gained by dry roasting the chilli first in a sauce pan to blister and remove the skin and de-seed before using.
2. The simple way, is to add enough hot water to cover the dried chilli and let re absorb for 30 min.
3. If using whole chillies, then add a weighted item to keep the chilli submerged so both sides soften.
4. If making a slow cooked dish then you can simply add the dried chilli to the dish and it will reabsorb during the cooking process.
Once you have decided the desired outcome the way you use them is simple and a great way to be able to use these chillies all year round and try amazing different varieties form around to world.
Still Not sure how to use them? why try not this new recipe from Jamie Oliver:
Jamie’s beautiful lamb shanks with mexican chillies
“This is a killer dinner!” Says Jamie. “Rehydrating dried chillies in apple juice with raisins releases their heat and infuses them with a sticky sweetness that goes insanely well with lamb.”
• 2–3 Smoked Chipotle chillies
. 2-3 Ancho chillies
• Large handful of raisins
• 285ml apple juice
• 4 lamb shanks
• Olive oil
• 3 medium red onions, finely chopped
• 8 garlic cloves, finely sliced
• 2–3 fresh red/ green chillies of your choice, halved and de seeded
• 1 tsp smokey paprika
• 2 whole dried bay leaves
1/2 tsp dried rosemary leaves
• 1 x 400g tin tomatoes
750ml chicken stock or water
• A dash of red wine vinegar
• Sliced red chillies and sliced garlic (optional)
1. Preheat your oven to full whack. Put the dried chillies, raisins and apple juice in a bowl then set aside. Put the lamb shanks in a roasting tray then rub all over with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. Bang them in the oven for 20 minutes and, as they’re browning, get a casserole pan that will fit the shanks quite snugly – about 24cm in diameter and 10cm deep. Put it on a medium heat and add a lug of olive oil. Devote about 10 minutes to sweating off the onions, garlic, fresh chilli, smoked paprika, bay leaves and rosemary.
2. Once the onions have softened, put the rehydrated chillies and raisins into a food processor or liquidiser, along with any leftover apple juice, then blitz (feel free to sneak in a swig of red wine or bourbon here!) until you’ve got a paste. Stir this into your onions.
3. Take your shanks out of the oven and turn the temperature down to 140C/gas 1–1½. Add them to the casserole pan along with your tinned tomatoes and water or stock. Stir everything together, cover and put in the oven to stew for about 2½–3 hours. Top up with water or stock as you go. Once the meat is falling off the bone and the sauce is thick, take it out of the oven, have a taste and season with salt and pepper and a dash of vinegar. To give it a kick up the backside I like to finely chop up a garlic clove and a little fresh chilli then mash them with a pinch of salt and stir it through for an extra punch. Serve with steamed greens, mash, flatbread – whatever you fancy.
notes : I think sometimes jamie gets a little over excited with the total amount of chillies he uses, you may wish to stick with the milder chillies and leave out the fresh chillies.
If wanting a milder chilli base use a combination of ancho, mulato, pasilla negro, or guajillo mexican chillies. These have the lowest heat rating for a chilli and infuse a beautiful depth of flavour into any dish without the chilli heat.
My personal favorite is combining 2 ancho and 2 pasilla negra chilli with a single smoked chipotle chilli. The smoked chipotle gives a little heat but more importantly adds a rich smokey tone to the meal.