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Dec 30, 2009 04:33 AM

Southwestern Cooking---Help me with these ingredients

My in-laws just retired to New Mexico and for X-Mas they sent us a box of ingredients for southwestern cooking. I am an experienced cook but a novice to southwestern cooking. I received the following ingredients and would love some tips for how to use them (tips, recipes, etc.):

red chili marmalade
ground green hot peppers
little dried red peppers (chilies?)
comino (cumin?)
some type of dried pepper that looks like dried prunes
Chili Fanatic brand --a 16oz. jar of hot chilies

We also received some pecan chili brittle which we have yet to open.


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  1. I lived in Clovis, NM for six years before moving to NC...I still love it there and the food especially...

    The dried pepper what looks like dried prunes sound like ancho chiles; anchos are not really very hot, more smoky in flavor. You can grind these for powder or soak them in water for at least an hour then puree to use in sauces, chili, etc. This chile is great in a dry rub for all meats...

    What kind of peppers are the green hot peppers? There are many varieties...jalapeno, habanera, poblano, etc. and they vary in flavor and heat...They can be used in just about everything. Likewise for the dried red peppers; they're probably chiles but don't know because you haven't given a name or description

    Cumin is a spice; you can get it ground or in seed form which can be toasted & ground...cumin is not hot, but it is smoky...I use it like salt & pepper in everything...meats, veggies, starches etc.

    The chili marmalade can be used in salsas, sauces, etc. Top some queso fresco or goat cheese with it and serve with crackers. Brush it over chicken or pork..use to top tacos and enchiladas. Stir it into rice when has a lot of uses.

    Never had the Chili Fanatic brand of chiles but again, can't give much info because you haven't said what kind of chiles...

    I'd love to try that pecan chili brittle..I love the combination of sweet/spicy..Hope this helps somewhat....

    1 Reply
    1. re: Cherylptw

      I lived in Cloudcroft NM/El Paso TX for about 6 years before moving to NC a little over 2 years ago and I sure do miss the great food back there.

      Not sure the variety of dried chili you have but I use dried chili (peppers) to make a base for chili (the stew) or hot sauce. Destem the dried chili and boil until almost mushy. Use just enough water to cover them and be aware that they will float to the top so keep pushing them down. I remove them from the water but reserve the liquid for later. Once the chili's have cooled I run them through a ricer to get the pulp without the seeds or skins.

      Use the pulp in place of dried chili powder as a base seasoning for chili and use the reserved liquid as your liquid base. The color of the liquid will really add appeal to your finished dish, it's usually pretty deeply colored.

      Cumino added to ground beef or chicken makes a great taco filling, NM style without many other spices to interfere with the flavor. Maybe some onion and garlic. SImple and tasty. Cumin also adds flavor to rice, pork (carnitas) and many other dishes.

      I used to get pistachio habanero brittle from a place right outside of Alamogordo NM that was sooooo good. The sweet contrast with the hot was wonderful.

      The chili marmalade makes for great ribs. You can oven cook some pork or goat ribs with your favorite seasonings until the meat pulls away from the bone. Remove from the oven and chill for at least an hour. Remove from fridge, spread marmalade all over and place in a very hot oven (425-450) until sizzling. The marmalade will form a nice crisp crust on the cold ribs. Yum!