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(recipe, Caroline Cummins)

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  1. 1 dried "New Mexico"-style large red pepper (see Note)
  2. ½ dried red chile pepper, seeds removed
  3. ½ cup red-wine vinegar
  4. 1 cup water
  5. ¾ cup olive oil
  6. 2 slices crusty artisanal-style bread, cut ¼-inch thick
  7. 1 large tomato, skin removed and chopped
  8. ¼ cup blanched almonds, lightly toasted
  9. 6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  10. Salt to taste


  1. In a small saucepan, place the dried peppers, vinegar, and water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Drain and cool.
  2. In a skillet, heat ¼ cup of the oil. Fry the bread slices until golden-brown on both sides. Remove bread and set aside. In the same oil, sauté the chopped tomato for 3 minutes.
  3. In a processor or blender, place the cooked peppers, fried bread, and tomatoes, the oil that the bread and tomatoes were cooked in, and the almonds, garlic, remaining oil, and a pinch of salt. Pulse until blended but not puréed, with small pieces still remaining.
  4. Empty into a bowl and season to taste with salt. Keep at room temperature until ready to use.


Culinate editor's note: If you can't find a New Mexican chile pepper, look for large dried chile peppers labeled "ancho," "pasilla," or "Anaheim."