© Copyright 1995-2017, Clay Irving <email@example.com>, Manhattan Beach, CA USA
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Recipe from: Stephanie da Silva
3 Pasilla, guajillo or ancho chiles, dried
3 serrano, chile arbol, Thai bird (prik ki nu), dried
3 garlic clove, with skin
Heat a large flat griddle or skillet over high heat. Place the chiles on the dry skillet, along with the garlic. Check them every few minutes, looking for brown spots as they toast on the dry griddle; turn both the chiles and the garlic cloves, keeping an eye on the color and more importantly on the aroma. When the scent changes and takes on a toasty, rich character, they're done. Remove them from heat and let them cool for a few seconds.
When cool enough to handle (the peppers cool more quickly than the garlic, which in turn takes longer to cook), pull out the stems, veins, seeds and placentas from the chiles. Tear the skins into medium-sized chunks and place them in a small bowl. Pour boiling water over them just to cover, then place a smaller bowl or saucer over the peppers to keep them immersed in the water. Set your timer for at least 30 minutes before continuing.
After the peppers have had time to soak well, pour the peppers and water into a blender. Peel the skins off the garlic cloves (which should smell sweet, smoky and wonderful in their own right) and drop them into the blender as well. Purée thoroughly. The sauce will be chunky; if appearance is important, you can strain it through a wire strainer to get the larger pieces of the skin out of the mixture. (I begrudge the amount of sauce that clings to the mesh myself...) Taste it; add salt and serve immediately.