Getting the Full Flavor out of Dried Chiles

Did you know that toasting dried chiles actually increases their flavor? The best way to do this is in the oven. We like the oven method because pan roasting can sometimes scorch them with a resulting burnt flavor.

To oven-toast chiles, first clean the peppers with a moist paper towel. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Arrange the peppers in a single layer on a baking sheet. Leave them in the oven for about 7 minutes or until the peppers are slightly puffed. Cool the chiles, slice them in half and remove the seeds. You then have the option of cutting them into tiny pieces or grinding them in your spice grinder. Another choice is to rehydrate them and puree. Always remember to wear rubber gloves when handling chiles!