How to Toast Peppers for Texas Red Chili

Learn a simple toasting technique for adding rich flavor to the peppers in this rich chili recipe.

Toast the Peppers

Toasting Peppers

Start by preheating a dry skillet over medium heat for a few minutes. Add the dry chile peppers to pan and step back momentarily to allow irritating fumes to dissipate (if you have a range hood, use it). Cook peppers 3 to 4 minutes, turning occasionally, until toasted. Remove from heat and allow pan to cool briefly.

Steam the Peppers to Soften

Steaming Peppers

Return skillet to stove and add about an inch of water. Bring water to boiling over high heat, add peppers. Remove skillet from heat, cover with lid, and allow to stand 20 minutes until peppers are softened.

Peppers Should be Plump

Plump, Steamed Peppers

Once the peppers have softened, drain them, reserving about 1/3 cup of the cooking liquid. Remove stems from peppers and discard.

Blend Until Smooth

Blending Peppers

You can do this step with either an immersion blender or countertop blender. If using an immersion blender, transfer peppers to a tall, narrow measuring cup. For countertop blender, transfer peppers to blender jar. Blend until smooth adding reserved soaking liquid as needed to make a smooth puree. Use as directed in recipe for Texas Red Chili.

If you'd like to use the toasted peppers in other dishes, try adding teaspoon of the pepper puree to your favorite guacamole or vegetable soup recipe. You can also mix a teaspoon or two of the puree with a quarter cup of olive oil and brushing it over steaks or chicken breasts before grilling.