The arbol chile is a long, slender and hot pepper, and commonly used in Mexican salsas. Just crush a few and add to soups, Mexican food dishes, sauces, or add a little water, or beer to rehydrate the chilis and us them in place of fresh peppers.
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De Arbol chilies are very hot but they also have a nice nutty flavor. Closely related to cayenne peppers, De Arbol chilies are bright red, 2-3 inches long and pointed. Thinly fleshed, De Arbol chilies have a searing, acidic heat and are primarily used in powdered form to make sauces, but can also be found in soups and stews. Chile de Árbol can be used in any dish to add heat and spice, especially chili, salsa, and hot sauces. It usually only takes a few peppers added to a pot for significant heat.
Toast them and then blend with tomatillos, onion, garlic and a little water for a great table salsa. They come in handy anytime a little spark of intense heat is required.
Directions on how to Rehydrate
Stem and seed the chilies, then place them in a skillet, on a comal, or in a 250 degree oven and dry-roast them for three to four minutes. Shake them once or twice and be careful not to scorch them or else they will taste bitter. The chilies should then be added to water that has been heated to just below the boiling point - if it is boiling, the chilies will lose flavor. Use just enough water to cover the chilies and press them down with a lid. Allow them to sit for 20 minutes or until they are soft.
To reconstitute dried Chili pods, remove stem and seeds. Place chilies in a pot of water that is just about to boil. Remove from heat and allow to soak for 20-30 minutes or until tender. Once chilies are reconstituted, place in a blender or food processor to chop.
How to Store
Store dried chilies (and chile powder) in an airtight container in a cool, dry, dark place. Although it is possible to store them for extended periods of time, it is better to use them within six months. If you do keep them longer, check through them occasionally and discard any that have spoiled.
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