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Red Chile Sauce from Powder

Red Chile Sauce made from chile powder @MJsKitchen


My usual red chile sauce is made from New Mexico dried red chiles pods, but every once in a while a reader asks about chile sauce made from red chile powder. So today I’m sharing a recipe for red chile sauce made from red chile powder.  The red chile powder I use is from New Mexico of course; however, this recipe can be used for just about any type of red chile powder. (See Kitchen Notes)  The three sauces you see in the picture below are from three different chile powders:

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Chile de Arbol Pecan Sauce

A spicy and nutty sauce made with chile de arbol peppers, pecans and pumpkin seeds


Ever since I ate my first chile de arbol pepper I have been in love with the flavor of this pepper. It is totally different from the traditional New Mexico red chiles and quite a bit hotter. You’ll find them in my Chile de Arbol Salsa and Red Chile Paste, and many times I throw a couple of peppers in a pot of beans or soup. Last year I came up with this Chile de Arbol Pecan Sauce which is completely different from the salsa and paste, but just as tasty.  This sauce is similar to a Mexican molé or pipián sauce which are puréed seed/nut/chile sauces used for a variety of dishes.

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Spicy Orange Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes roasted in ghee and tossed with orange juice and chile powder


Who doesn’t like roasted sweet potatoes?  There are probably a few people that don’t, but I’d bet the majority of you do.  We certainly love them and have them quite often.   During the colder months, I roast them in the oven, and during the warmer months, on the stovetop.  My usual preparation is pretty much the same as what I use for Roasted Fingerling Potatoes – an infused oil, salt and pepper, and some type of chile powder. However, I changed it up a bit with this Spicy Orange Sweet Potato dish.  Ghee (a type of clarified butter) is used in place of olive oil, and after roasting, the potatoes are tossed with orange juice and then sprinkled with chile powder.  For this batch I used a new chile pepper from my friends at Ford’s Fiery Foods and Plants – murupi amerela.  This is a completely different pepper than the urfa biber I introduced in the Fiery Chocolate Shots – quite a bit hotter and more of a citrus flavor than that of dates. To learn more about murupi amerela or to see alternative chile powders you could use, be sure read my Kitchen Notes.

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Red Chile Pumpkin Sauce

Red Chile Pumpkin Sauce

This red chile pumpkin sauce can be used for enchiladas, tacos, burritos, or for whatever your heart desires.


This Red Chile Pumpkin Sauce sauce combines the spicy and unique flavor of dried New Mexico red chiles with the flavor and a little bit of the texture of pumpkin purée.  Not only is this sauce just downright delicious, but it is a great solution to toning down the heat in a red chile sauce.  You get all of the flavor of a traditional New Mexico red chile sauce, but not the mouth-burning heat that can come with it, especially if you are using HOT or Extra HOT chiles.

I’ve had several inquiries as to how to make a red chile sauce “less hot” and my typical answer is to add honey, 1 tsp. at a time.  But the problem with adding honey is, if you add too much, then you end up with a sweet sauce that can ruin a good batch of enchiladas.  This chile-pumpkin sauce is definitely the solution.

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Chile Pequin Pepper Sauce

A quick and easy pepper sauce made with chile pequin


It’s the first of October and it’s getting chilly here, so this year’s green chile crop is just about over. I roasted my last batch yesterday. :( Any chile peppers still on the plants are turning red and even they are almost gone.  However, the smaller chiles, like chile pequin (above), jalapeno, and chile de arbol, are still quite plentiful which is a good thing because I recently discovered that I’m totally out of pepper sauce.  Everybody’s gotta have a pepper sauce to finish off dishes like black-eyed peas, pinto beans, greens, stews, and succotash.  Just sprinkle a few or a lot of drops/dashes on top of each serving for some flavored spice, just like you would use Tabasco.

My mother taught me how to make pepper sauce when I was a kid and I’ve been using her method ever since.  It’s easy, it’s good, and you can use any type of hot, fresh pepper – chile pequin, chile de arbol, Thai chiles, jalapeno – any hot, small chile pepper.  When I went to the market to get some chiles, it had a bunch of chile pequin. So there you go – chile pequin pepper sauce it is.  To make this sauce all you need are peppers, vinegar, salt and a bottle.  Can’t get much easier than that.  Make it now and it will be ready in a couple of weeks to use on fall greens.  By the time you’re making those black-eyed peas on New Years Day, you’ll have a really nice, hot pepper sauce.  Put it in the refrigerator and it will keep indefinitely.

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Make Your Own Peppered Cucumber Vinegar

Make your own cucumber vinegar with pepper and garlic


My garden this year was very small, mostly herbs, a few cucumber plants, and a volunteer butternut squash plant. The cucumbers we grew in an elevated container with a trestle. and it worked much better than expected. Lots of cucumbers and no half eaten cucumbers due to our turtles and the wild racoons that patrol the neighborhood.  We’ve been able to harvest more than enough cucumbers for our salads, salsas and cold soups, and with the extras, I’m brewing a batch of our favorite homemade vinegar – Peppered Cucumber Vinegar.  We’ve been enjoying this vinegar for several years and so have our families and friends because there is always plenty to share.

For this recipe, vinegar is infused with cucumber, pepper and garlic.  The prep takes about 30 minutes and then the jar is left to sit for 6 weeks.  I use to let it sits for 3 months, but one year decided to test it after only 6 weeks (just couldn’t wait). I didn’t notice any difference in the flavors. The cucumber and pepper flavors were just as robust after 6 weeks as they were after 3 months, and the garlic – very subtle and a nice finish. After 6 weeks, the vinegar is strained into pretty little bottles and used for salad dressing or holiday gifts.

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Red Chile Paste

Chile paste made with NM red chile and chile de arbol


A couple of months ago, I posted a Chile de Arbol Salsa made with those tiny and HOT chile de arbol peppers.  After making several batches throughout the summer I finally had an epiphany to make a batch of chile paste so that when we get the craving for salsa, the prep time is cut by more than half because the initial paste is already made.  The only problem is that a “batch” of chile de arbol paste yields an unbearably hot paste by most people’s standards, including mine.  To solve this, I used a blend of New Mexico dried red chile and chile de arbol.  The resulting paste is still hot, but has a wonderful flavor that complements a variety of dishes:  salsas, soups, stews, enchiladas sauce, aiolis and spreads. This paste can be frozen in 1 to 2 tablespoon servings and added to any dish that needs a tasty bite of heat.

As you’ll see in the instructions, instead of lightly toasting the chile pods in a dry skillet then rehydrating in hot water as many chile paste recipes do, I rehydrate and toast the chiles at the same time by simmering them in hot oil with garlic and seasoning. The benefit to this other than saving some time, is that this process yields a wonderful bottle of chile infused oil that you can use for many other purposes.  If you are like me, your pantry has at least three infused oils at all times, so one more never hurts.
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An Old Raspberry Vinegar and Sparkling Raspberry Soda



You know how some recipes just never die and we’re so glad they didn’t? This raspberry vinegar is one of them. It’s a raspberry vinegar recipe from 1900 that I found in the New York Times a while back.  It looked so easy to make and, how could it not be good if it’s still being made over a century later?  Now that I’ve made it a few times, I’ll probably never use another raspberry vinegar recipe again.

To make this vinegar, raspberries are first macerated in red wine vinegar for 3 days, strained to extract the  juice, then cooked down with some sugar.  Depending on how long you cook it down, you could end up with more of a raspberry syrup that can be poured over ice cream or used for raspberry vinegar sodas. By decreasing the cook time you could make a thinner vinegar that works great in any vinaigrette that you want a little bit of a raspberry flavor.

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Green Chile Powder and How To Use It

A chile powder made from dried green chiles


Green chile powder is the result of drying fresh picked green chile peppers, removing the stems, and then grinding into a powder.  Removal of the veins and seeds during this process yields a more intense green chile flavor; however, removal of the veins and seeds also reduces the “heat” in the resulting powder, as well as just being a very laborious task.  According to several sources, it takes approximately 18 pounds of fresh green chile peppers to make 1 pound of green chile powder.  The texture of green chile powder is finer and more “powdery” than red chile powder as you can see in the pictures below.


Ground New Mexico Red ChilesA chile powder made from dried green chiles
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