The seasoning paste was not as spicy as I was expecting it to be. If you want it to be spicier add a few dashes of cayenne pepper or use dried guajillos instead of the anchos. You will need a food processor or blender to make the paste. It is a lot easier to make than it may seem and well worth it.
Recipe courtesy of Rick Bayless
Essential Sweet and Spicy Ancho Seasoning Paste:
8 garlic cloves, unpeeled
8 medium (4 ounces) dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup chicken broth or water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup white rice
1 medium white onion, diced
1 2/3 cups chicken broth or water
Ancho Seasoning Paste:
- Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat. Place the garlic in the pan and roast for 15 minutes until softened (they will blacken in spots); cool and peel. While the garlic roasts, open the chilies and lay them flat in the pan one at a time pressing down with a spatula for a few seconds on each side until you hear it crackle or send up a wisp of smoke. Put the chilies in a small bowl with hot water and let re-hydrate for 30 minutes.
- In a food processor or blender, combine the oregano, black pepper, cumin, cloves, salt, peeled garlic, chilies and 2/3 cup broth or water. Process to a smooth puree.
- In a large measuring cup, heat the broth and 5 tablespoons of ancho seasoning paste in the microwave on high for 3 minutes.
- In a medium saucepan heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and rice, stirring regularly, until the rice looks chalky, about 5 minutes. Pour in the broth and ancho seasoning paste with the rice, stirring a few times and scraping down any stray kernels from the side. Turn the heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Uncover and check a few grains of rice; it should be nearly cooked through. If it is just about ready, turn off the heat and let it it sit covered for 10 minutes. If it is far from done, replace the lid and cook for another 5 minutes. Enjoy!