Saturday, February 18, 2012

Guajillo Chili Sauce

The lovely Lynn from Cafe Lynnlu is hosting this edition of Weekend Herb Blogging and this week I'm taking a closer look at Guajillo Chillies.

Dried Guajillo Chili© by Haalo

Guajillo Chilli is a species of Capsicum annuum - of medium heat, its Scoville score is in the range of 2500 to 8000 - for comparison, Habanero is over 100,000.

I recently went on a bit of a dried chilli buying spree (if you're local, Fireworks Foods has an excellent range and I tend to use them rather than Casa Iberica) as they are an ingredient that I haven't really experimented with so I've been on the look out for recipes to use them. I found such a recipe while browsing through one of my other recent finds, the ipad edition of Bon Appétit. They have taken quite a different approach to recreating their magazine, it's not at all like the mags you find on Zinio, but you have to give them points for having imagination.

The recipe I'm making is a Red Chile Sauce that can be made with either guajillo or new mexico chilies and in the magazine it's used to make a breakfast dish called Chilaquiles - fried wedges of tortilla (ie corn chips) layered with cheeses and chilli sauce and topped with fried eggs and a fresh salad of onion, radish, coriander and lime.

Guajillo Chili Sauce© by Haalo

Guajillo Chili Sauce

4 dried Guajillo chillies (or New Mexico chillies)
1 onion, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 fresh chilli (jalepeno), roughly chopped
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 can tomatoes, drained
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon honey
salt and pepper

Put the chillies into a bowl and cover with boiling water - soak until soft about 15-30 minutes. Take out the softened chillies but keep the water. Remove the stems and seeds and roughly chop - place the chilli pieces into a processor or blender. Add in the onion, garlic, fresh chilli, paprika, drained tomatoes and half a cup of soaking water. Process to form a smooth paste.

Add the oil to a saucepan and place over a medium heat - when hot, carefully add in the paste - it will spit and splatter so make sure your hands and arms are protected. As it comes to a boil, reduce the heat, partially cover the pan with a lid (this helps to contain the splatter) and simmer until thickened, about 15 to 25 minutes.

Stir in the honey and season to taste with sea salt and white pepper.

Stored in a sealable container in the fridge it should keep for at least 3 days - that's if you don't eat it all at once!


  1. Haalo, this sounds delicious!
    Never saw a black chili before, it intrigues me.
    I could try this with some of the dry chilis Sofi brought me from her trip in Sri Lanka.

  2. A great chili sauce! I love the top photo in its simplicity with the vibrant red background. Thanks.


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