How do I use these dried pequin chilis?
One of my friends and I exchange foodly finds, home crops, and things in jars regularly.
Last time I saw her, she gave me a bunch of pequin chilis that her hubby had dried -- she said they're kind of citrusy and pretty spicy, but the internet seems reluctant to cough up home cooking ideas for them.
Does anyone use these for anything in particular, or should I just sub them for other small/spicy red chilis?
I took a photo for an idea of scale/amount gifted; the bag is a normal sandwich bag. The actual chilis are a lighter red than suggested.
You could make a simple hot sauce with them. I have a commercially made bottle that just lists these, vinegar, water and salt.
I also have a small bottle of these peppers, and will add a couple whole to dish where I want to add some heat. For example I've used one or two when making hot cocoa. It is easy to strain it out before drinking.
I've never used them in a large enough quantity to detect any flavor beyond the heat.
I love the flavor of chile pequin. You're right, unfortunately they're not well-known. I agree with your friend - I think they have a wonderful fruity taste but they are very hot.
My favorite use for them is to make Mexican corn with them. This corn is one of my very favorite things to eat. It's super easy to make and everyone loves it.
Skewer cooked, shucked whole ears of corn. Squeeze on plenty of lime juice (I use about 1/4 of a lime per ear) then season with kosher salt. Spread mayonnaise on a sheet of aluminum foil and roll corn in mayonnaise until fully dressed. Wipe excess mayonnaise off corn on a clean section of foil,
leaving a thin layer of mayonnaise on corn. Roll in either cotija cheese or grated Pecorino-Romano cheese and tap end lightly on counter to remove excess cheese. Sprinkle (I either wear latex gloves or use a spoon to sprinkle the chile to protect the capsaicin from contacting my skin) with a very small amount (a little goes a long way) of ground chile pequin (I toast the chiles in the oven or in a dry pan on the stovetop then grind in a coffee grinder.).
You will want to make more than one ear of corn per person because once you take your first bite I guarantee you'll want more!