“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves. We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!” – Humbert Wolfe
Except I am listening and all I hear is lawnmowers buzzing and police sirens wailing. Ah Houston. My car is still a hot box when I forget to park it in the shade and we still work up a sweat when we go for walks. But! But! There’s a hint of a breeze and I’m officially not a summertime shut-in anymore.
This dried pepper broth is a concoction of my husband’s and is just the thing to simmer on the stove when you’re pretending like the wind is howling and have got your Netflix fireplace channel roaring. Also, I don’t know about traditional Dios de los Muertos foods but I think this would be perf.
It’s warm and earthy and spicy. Drink it straight (with squeezed lime juice!) when you’re snuffling or let your imagination run wild with all its possibilities. We made tacos, soup, and enchiladas from it–a whole week’s worth of meals!
Dried Chile Pepper Broth (and bonus sauce)
1 yellow chopped onion
5 cloves fresh peeled chopped garlic
3-4 fresh chopped tomatoes (you can cheat with the canned variety or is it really cheating is tomatoes aren’t in season?)
7-8 assorted dried peppers
1 fresh chopped jalapeno
2-3 fresh chopped habanero peppers
juice of 2 limes (or 4 key limes as pictured)
salt and pepper
Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a stock pot on medium-high. Add chopped onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes. Add tomato and cook for a few minutes more. Add chopped fresh peppers.
Fill the pot with water. (We never measure these things out but you want the pot to be pretty full.) Add dried peppers, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 1.5+hours.
Strain and reserve the broth. Remove the stems from the rehydrated dried peppers. Throw all the non-liquid remains (the peppers, garlic, tomatoes, and onion) of the broth into a blender and blend till smooth. Add a few spoons of the broth if needed to thin out a little. Thus, in addition to the broth, you’ll end up with a thick, egyptian-mud-bath-looking pepper sauce that will bless you manifold.
Add some of the broth and sauce to ground beef for tacos, use the broth as a base for tortilla soup, add Mexican chocolate to the sauce and boom! Instant mole! My computer decided to start updating in the middle of this post which made me curse and wish I had a bloody maria made with this broth so there’s another idea for you. Seriously. Endless possibilities here.