I’m all over ancho chile peppers. I purchase them dry, toast them, and then grind them up into a powder to sprinkle on all kinds of things.
I order them here, but I imagine you can buy them in a spice store, specialty market, or elsewhere online. You can also buy the powder — I just like having it as fresh as possible, which means toasting it and grinding before cooking. I save leftover powder in a sealed jar to use up later.
Ancho chile peppers are relatively mild compared to other peppers. When I want to add a bit more heat, I add a pinch of chipotle pepper powder, which I also buy dry to toast and grind into a powder.
Roasted Chile Cauliflower Bites
This recipe serves 4 people as an appetizer or side dish, however you’ll probably find yourself wanting more of this, so I suggest doubling the recipe.
If you don’t have an ancho chile hanging around, you can use a mix of chili powder and some paprika or smoked paprika.
I eat this with a slices of lime and mint yogurt dip: 1/4 cup of your favorite tart yogurt, a few mint leaves chopped up, a squeeze of lime, and a pinch or two of salt. Mix and serve.
- 1 large cauliflower head
- 2 tablespoons high heat oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons of ancho chili powder
- Make the ancho chili pepper powder: Place a cast iron skillet on medium heat for a few minutes to heat up. Once it’s hot, place the dried ancho chili in the skillet and shuffle it around the pan for a few minutes, or until you begin to smell the aroma of it toasting and then take it out and cool it. Remove the stem and seeds and grind the remaining pepper in a coffee bean grinder, spice grinder, or food processor until it is the consistency of powder.
- Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C or gas mark 7) and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper, or prepare a non-stick baking sheet.
- Chop the cauliflower into bite-size pieces.
- Add the cauliflower pieces, ancho chili powder, salt, and oil to a large bowl and toss until the cauliflower is well coated.
- Spread the cauliflower across the baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, or until the cauliflower bites are tender and a bit blackened.
- Serve hot or very warm, with mint yogurt dip and slices of fresh lime (see the recipe notes above).
Makes 4 appetizer or side dish servings
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