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 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.
Known as chile seco when dried, these have a spicy, lingering flavor with berry notes and medium heat (4-5 on a scale of 1-10).
Toast for added flavor. Soak in hot tap water for 20 minutes to rehydrate. Add to sauces and marinades. Pairs well with mango or pineapple for a sweet and spicy salsa.
For 4-5 T of mix: Toast 1 stemless chile and 2 t cumin seeds until aromatic (2-4 minutes), stirring constantly. Grind then mix with 4 T kosher salt