Recipes from Around the World: Chorizo Stuffed Ancho Chiles with Spicy Tomato Sauce

This month's ethnic recipe brings us to my region of the world: northern New Mexico, where culinary traditions and powerful flavors represent a blend of Hispanic, Native America, and Spanish influences.  

This unique recipe from the Santa Fe School of Cooking uses dried Ancho chile peppers stuffed with chorizo and refried beans, with a really delicious tomato-oregano sauce.  I served it with Spanish rice, green chile corn bread, and fresh avocado.  This was definitely the best New Mexican dish I've made at home!  Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Boiling the juice, vinegar, spices, and piloncillo cones

Prepping the chorizo and tomato sauce

Soaking the dried chile peppers

Spicy tomato sauce and chorizo/bean mix are cooking!

Getting ready to put the stuffed peppers in the oven


Ancho Chile Relleno with Spicy Tomato Sauce
From Santa Fe School of Cooking's Flavors of the Southwest


6 dried ancho chiles

1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice
1/2 cup cider vinegar
3 or 4 small cones piloncillo to taste*
4 large cloves garlic, split lengthwise
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
3 sprigs fresh thyme
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 pound chorizo
2 cups refried beans
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 pound Monterey Jack or other good melting cheese, cut into strips
3/4 cup creme fraiche
1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and cut into 12 slices
Nasturtrium petals (optional)


1.  Leaving the stem intact, carefully slit the body of each chile and remove the seeds and veins.  Set aside.
2.  Combine the orange juice, vinegar, piloncillo, garlic, bay leaves, oregano, thyme and salt in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat and continue to cook until the piloncillo has dissolved, about 15 minutes.  Remove pan from the heat and add the chiles, pressing them down so they are submerged.  Cover the saucepan.  Soak the chiles until they have reconstituted and feel fleshy, about 20 minutes.
3.  Fry the chorizo over medium heat until the fat is rendered and the chorizo is cooked through.  Stir in the beans and mix well.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Set aside.
4.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
5.  Remove chiles from the soaking liquid and transfer to paper towels to drain.
6.  Carefully stuff chiles with the bean mixture and a strip of cheese.  You should be able to just close the chile when it is filled.  At this point, you may refrigerate the chiles for later use or place them on a baking sheet and heat through, about 15 minutes.
7.  To serve, place 1/3 cup of the Spicy Tomato Sauce (see recipe below) on a large plate.  Place a stuffed chile on the sauce and garnish with drizzles of creme fraiche, slices of avocado and a sprinkling of nasturtium petals.

Spicy Tomato Sauce


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small white onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes with juice, pureed
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
2-3 tablespoons chipotles en adobo, finely chopped
Pinch of sugar
Kosher salt to taste


Warm the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes.  Add the garlic and oregano, and saute for 1 minute.  Add the tomatoes with their juices and the chipotles.  Season with sugar and salt to taste.  Simmer uncovered until slightly thickened, about 25 to 30 minutes.  Set aside until ready to use.


A New Mexican meal wouldn't be complete without homemade margaritas.

Piloncillo is a form of pure, unrefined sugar that is pressed into a cone shape.  I had to search around town to find it.  If it's not available at your local market, you can substitute 1 cup of dark brown sugar and 1 tablespoon molasses.

Piloncillo cones


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