BACK IN STOCK IN JULY
Mexican chillies aren’t just for Mexican cooking. Pop a packet of guajillo chillies in your store cupboard, and you’ll soon start discovering how easy it is to enhance dishes with their smoky, plummy heat.
Simply soak a couple of guajillo chillies in hot (not-boiling) kettle water for ten minutes. Pour away the bitter, coloured water and then blend the plumped-up chillies into a dip or marinade – or slice them thinly and add the slivers to a spicy squash stew. Alternatively, rip off the stem and then blitz a dried guajillo chilli in a grinder to create a paprika-like powder. It’s great for giving soups, stews and homemade salsas a flavour boost.
Guajillo is the second most popular Mexican chilli – after the ancho – making up part of the ‘Holy Trinity’. Its slightly sweet, plummy notes mean that guajillo is often used to spice a champurrado hot chocolate. It might also be used in a Mole de olla soup or birria stew. There’s no need to stick strictly to authentic recipes though – a combination of dried Mexican chillies are great when rehydrated and blended into a homemade harissa or used in a fruity-spiced ketchup.
Guajillo chillies are a sun-dried version of the mirasol chilli pepper. They originate in Mexico, which is where we import ours from – thanks to the perfect climate and hot sun which dries the chillies on the vine, where they ripen, darken and the flavours intensify.
Guajillo chilli peppers are a robust ingredient with a long shelf-life. Though they don’t lose their potency, it’s good practice to keep them out of direct sunlight to prevent them from fading.
The ingredient capsaicin, which is found in chillies, is thought to boost the metabolism, burn calories and satiate appetites. Studies also indicate that eating spicy foods on a regular basis may reduce mortality rates, for more information click HERE.
ALSO KNOWN AS: Capsicum Annuum, Poblano peppers