<UPDATE: After this post was published, I had a lot of people asking me about Chiltepes, what they were and where they could find them. So, I thought I should explain a little better. Chiltepes are a type of chile native to the state of Puebla in Mexico. This variety is extremely hard to find as it is not cultivated, it grows wild and can only be obtained in small markets at rural towns outside the city of Puebla. The taste and aroma of this particular chile is quite distinct and invigorating. They have tried to cultivate Chiltepes, but the result lacks complexity and differs greatly in taste and spiceness. If you are lucky enough to visit this state, make sure to try and get some of these babies.>
The aroma is intensely intoxicating… one smell of this makes your mouth water instantly!!
This recipe is incredibly practical and easy to make. I love that the fried chiltepes can be used in an array of dishes… from sauces to marinades even, for salad dressing, or as a tasty garnish. More importantly, they can be stored in the fridge for more than 4 months!
1 1/2 c. corn or canola oil*
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3/4 c. chiltepes
Heat the oil in a saucepan or small pot over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot enough** add the onions and fry them, stirring every once in a while, until the edges are slightly golden, about 10 minutes. Immediately add the garlic.
Once the garlic acquires a slightly golden hue, add the chiles and stir. Let their color intensify, about 2 minutes. Do not over-fry the chiles as they will become bitter!
This recipe is not restricted to Chiltepes, you can use other varieties of dried chiles as long as they are thin skinned and small to medium size.
*Since the oil will be infused with the lovely and distinctive taste of the chiles, we don’t want anything to interrupt or mask their flavor, so please DO NOT use olive oil for this recipe!!
** to test if the oil is hot enough, drop a couple of onion slices. If the oil instantly bubbles and slices remain afloat, the oil is ready.