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Several dried guajillo chiles
|Scoville scale||2,500–5,000 SHU|
A guajillo chili or guajillo chile (nee, chile guajillo in Spanish) is the dried form of mirasol chili, a variety of chile pepper of the species Capsicum annuum, and is one of the most commonly used chilies in Mexican cuisine. The Mexican state of Zacatecas is one of the main producers of Guajillo chilies. There are two varieties that are distinguished by their size and heat factors. The guajillo "Puya" is the smallest and hottest of the two ("Puyar" in Spanish, is to prick or poke). In contrast, the longer and wider guajillo has a more pronounced, richer flavor and is somewhat less spicy.
Its heat (rating 2,500 to 5,000 on the Scoville scale) is considered mild to medium. Guajillo chilies have many applications and are used in a variety of Mexican preparations. For instance, they are sometimes used to make a salsa for tamales; the dried fruits (chilies) are seeded, soaked or simmered, then pulverized or mashed/pureed into a paste, then cooked with several other ingredients to produce a flavorful sauce.
Guajillo chilies are used in marinades, salsas, pastes, butters and/or adobos (rubs) to flavor all kinds of meats. It is often used to flavor the fat or oil where other ingredients will be cooked in. The Guajillo chili, with its leaner flavor profile has a particular affinity for fish and chicken. Alternatively, it can be added to salsas to create a side dish with a surprisingly memorable finish.
Some Mexican dishes where chile guajillo is a main ingredient are:
- Chilate or Mole de olla
- Carne Adobada
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