How to Make Ancho Chili Powder
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Ancho chili powder is becoming more and more common in American cooking because of the wonderful smokey flavor it can impart to dishes. Ancho peppers give dishes a nice, mild heat without overwhelming the other ingredients.
Despite more and more recipes calling for ancho powder it can still be hard to fine it in supermarkets. Luckily, making your own ancho chili powder is a very easy and often times cheaper than buying it from the store. Making it yourself almost always also results in a fresher and more flavorful ancho powder.
Here’s how you do it:
Dry the Ancho Peppers
Since most good dried ancho peppers retain some moisture you first need to finish drying them out. This is a simple process.
1) Remove the stem and seeds from the ancho peppers, these would add bitterness to the completed ancho chili powder.
2) Preheat your oven to around 250 to 300 degrees.
3) Cut the ancho peppers in half length wise and lay them on a baking sheet, preferably on a wire rack to allow the air to circulate but a baking sheet will also work fine.
4) Bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until the ancho peppers are crispy and dry. Check on the peppers often and remove pieces that are dry to make sure they do not burn.
Grind the Ancho Peppers into Powder
Place all the toasted ancho chili peppers into a blender, spice grinder, or coffee grinder and process until they turn into a nice powder.
Storing Ancho Chili Powder
Store your ancho chili powder in a glass or plastic airtight container in a dark, cool place such as a drawer or cabinet. For long term storage of your ancho chili powder you can also store it in the freezer in a zip lock bag.
Remember though, your ancho chili powder will slowly lose its flavor the longer it sits, regardless of how you store it. Making enough at a time to last you for a month or two will ensure that you have fresh and flavorful ancho chili powder when you want it.