Carment Bullosa’s Sun-Dried Ancho Chiles Stuffed with Meat and Capers
- 6 ancho chilies
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 ½ pounds ground beef
- ½ pound ground pork
- ½ cup peeled, chopped almonds
- 20 small capers, drained from brine
- 1 or 2 healthy pinches cayenne
- 6 large tomatoes, chopped
- 5 large green olives, pitted and chopped roughly
1. Clean the chilies. Slit each one open with a small knife, from the top to the bottom with one long cut. Be careful not to cut though to the other side of the chile. Make only one opening to form a pocket for the stuffing. Remove the seeds, but keep the stem. Wash each one under water. When they are clean, put them all in cold water with salt for the time it takes the meat to cook.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a deep pot over medium heat. Sauté the onions until they become glassy then stir in the garlic, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the meat and the rest of the ingredients, except the tomatoes. Stir and cook until the meat is completely browned. Let the meat cool.
3. Take the chiles out of the water and dry them on paper towels.
4. In a separate pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add the tomatoes. Cook until they turn a nice orange color, about 15 minutes; they will need to be very well cooked. Add salt to taste.
5. Preheat the oven to 325F. Stuff the chiles, trying to give each one form and body with the meat, and arrange them in a baking dish. Pour half of the tomato sauce over them. Be careful not to down them: it’s not soup. Place the dish in the over for 10-13 minutes. Reheat the remaining tomato sauce, and serve the chiles with the sauce passed separately. Note: Buy the largest, most perfect chilies you can find, with their stems attached. They should measure about 3 to 4 inches.
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Padma Lakshmi is an Emmy-nominated food expert, television host, producer and The New York Times best-selling author. She is the creator, host, and executive producer of the critically acclaimed Hulu series Taste the Nation, which received a 2021 Critics Choice Real TV Award for Best Culinary Series and a 2021 Gotham Award for Breakthrough Series. The series has been greenlit for a second season. Lakshmi also serves as host and executive producer of Bravo’s two-time Emmy-winning series Top Chef, which has been nominated for 32 Emmys, including her two-time nomination for Outstanding Host for A Reality-Competition Program. Its new season will be premiering in spring 2021.