Smoked Serrano Chiles
When you think of serrano chiles you probably think of the bright green chile available fresh at many markets. Well, this smoked chile is different. These chiles are left on the vine to mature and turn a scarlet red, then picked and smoked dry. Called a chile seco when dried, serrano chiles have a spicy, lingering flavor with subtle notes of berry.The #1 factor that contributes to a chile's heat level is its maturity. While capsaicin is present at the beginning of the fruit's development, the amount of capsaicin increases as the chile matures. - Chile Today.com
The primary use for these dried chiles is to make authentic spicy sauces. They also pair well with mango or pineapple for a sweet and spicy salsa. Rating at about 4-5 on a heat scale of 1-10, they can be exchanged for chipotles for a slightly different flavor. You can opt to toast them first for added flavor and re-hydrate them by soaking in hot tap water for about 20 minutes. Don’t soak any longer or they can become bitter.