My office is holding a chili cook-off this week, and I prepared an ancho chile puree to use in my beef and black bean chili. I had some puree leftover, so we used it for our delicious Sunday night shrimp dinner. We paired the ancho chile shrimp with spaghetti squash, spinach, and black rice. I adapted this from a recipe on eHow.
Ancho chile puree
4 cloves roasted garlic
4 dried whole ancho chiles
1 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/4 c cider vinegar
Soak the whole chiles in warm water for at least 30 minutes, turning to make sure that the floaters are coated for at least 15 minutes on all sides. Remove the stems and the seedpods from the chiles. Cut them in half, and roast them in a dry cast iron skillet over high heat. Slip the garlic cloves out of their skins and place them in the bowl of a food processor along with the salt and pepper, vinegar and the roasted chiles. Pulse the machine a few times to begin the puree. Scrape down the sides and continue pulsing the machine and adding small amounts of water until the puree is as thick as possible but still allows the machine to run smoothly. Scrape down the sides as necessary and puree to a fine paste. Use a rubber spatula to force the puree through a strainer to extract skin and seed fragments.*
*I was too lazy to actually perform this last step, although I should have.