Makes 2 2/3 cups
From Season 8 Mexico - One Plate at a Time
2 ounces dried chiles (one or more of the following: arbol, chiltepín, pequín, serrano seco, chipotle, morita, puya, guajillo, ancho, mulato, pasilla—depending on the flavors and spiciness you want to go for)
1 1/2 ounces (1/3 cup) nuts (one or more of the following: almonds, peanuts, pecan pieces)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
2 cups olive oil
1 tablespoon vinegar (cider vinegar works well here)
1 teaspoon salt
A generous 1/2 teaspoon dried herbs (one or more of the following: Mexican oregano, marjoram, or thyme)
Stem the chiles, then break or cut them open and scrape/brush/let fall out most of the seeds; cut into 1/4-inch pieces - you will have about 1 cup. (Simply use chiltepin or pequin whole.)
In a large (4-quart) saucepan, combine the nuts, sesame seeds, garlic and oil. Set over medium-high heat and cook until garlic and sesame seeds are golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the chiles. Let cool 5 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix the vinegar with the salt until the salt dissolves, then add it to the pan along with the herbs. When the mixture has cooled to room temperature, pour it into a blender or food processor and pulse until everything is chopped into small pieces. Run the processor for a few seconds until everything is finely chopped—but not pureed. Pour into a jar and store in the refrigerator until you're ready to use.