Chile & Orange Lamb with Prunes & Black Olives

I just looked at the title of this blog and realized there may be a soul (or two) out there who fear this recipe calls for orange lambs. Before you start a fevered internet search looking for orange-fleeced lambs, let me stop you. The orange comes from the fruit, not the fleece. Although, I think it would be pretty nifty if lambs were orange-colored but that’s just me.

I digress…at this time of the year, when it’s almost spring but not really, citrus is a rare bright spot. Not only does it keep scurvy at bay (always a worry, right?) but it lifts (almost) any dish immeasurably. It’s like that perky friend who is so upbeat that they’re annoying after the second margarita.

Oranges — our best friend in this dish — give food sweetness and the requisite hit of acidity. It’s an ideal partner for lamb as it cuts through the rich ‘lambiness’ (this is not a real term, but you know what I mean). I’ve used blood oranges which are gorgeous and red like a fiery sunset and cost enough to fund retirement home on a small Caribbean island. If you can’t find them, fear not — regular juice oranges will suffice.

Prunes, aside from the gastrointestinal assistance they provide, add sweetness while black olives add a briny, savory bite to the dish. The star however is our Chipotle Rub & Mix which is a heady blend of three chiles, including that smokey superstar: chipotle (cue round of applause). Best of all, most of the work is done in a slow cooker or low oven so you can get on with other things like your taxes, a home perm, or shooting a tik tok video of your dog. Your choice. There is no shame.

Chile & Orange Lamb with Prunes and Black Olives

3 lbs cubed lamb shoulder

2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped

1 banana shallot, peeled and roughly chopped

1 Tbsp Chipotle Rub & Mix

1 1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

1/2 tsp salt

2 blood oranges, juice from both and finely grated zest from one

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

5 oz pitted prunes, chopped (about 1 cupful)

4 oz pittled kalamata black olives, chopped (about 1 cupful)

Cilantro, to garnish

In a small food processor, blitz the garlic, shallot, Chipotle Rub & Mix, ginger, salt, blood orange juice and zest, and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil until a rough paste. Place the cubed lamb in a bowl and combine with the marinade. Cover and place in the refrigerator for up to four hours.

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees farenheit. Remove the lamb from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature. On the stove, heat an oven proof casserole to medium high heat, add the other tablespoon of oil to the pan and sear the lamb. You’ll need to do this in batches. Make sure you sear the cubes on all sides. Remove and place in a clean bowl or plate and continue until all of the lamb is seared.

When you’ve finished, place all of the lamb back into the casserole, cover and place in the preheated oven. Alternatively, you can use a slow cooker. Cook for around 4 hours until the lamb is super tender. Add the prunes and black olives, cook for another half an hour or so and serve garnished with cilantro.

Red chile pink grapefruit & fennel salad

The shortest day looms over us like — well, like the shortest day of the year. It’s Wednesday 21 December and the winter solstice takes place at 9:47 p.m, in case you were wonderfing. As it doesn’t involve a delivery of food, a crate of wine or a jumbo box of chocolates, I can’t be bothered. I won’t be celebrating as I’ll be in bed with the covers pulled over my head.

If you need me, drop me an email and I’ll get back in touch next May.

I mean, honestly, it’s all I can do these days to get out of bed and get dressed, let alone take a shower. While some smiley so-and-so’s think winter is ‘cosy’ I think it’s cold, dark and far too long. Surely I’m not the only one who gazes longingly at the drinks cabinet at 3:00 p.m.?

The only solace this solstice is the fact that the days will get longer after the 21st. Slowly — and I mean slowly– but surely night will get shorter. Yes, it’s at a snail’s pace but it’s something and frankly I’m grasping at straws these days (*reaches for variety box of chocolates and pops another in mouth*).

If winter is dragging for you too and a trip to Barbados isn’t in your bank account, then might I suggest a sunny salad? Pink grapefruit cooked quickly in honey and chile. Roasted fennel because apparently vegetables are ‘good’ for you. And a gentle scattering of pomegranate seeds and poppy seeds if you’re a show off. And for heaven’s sake have some pride and take a shower. Please.

Red chile pink grapefruit & roasted fennel salad

Serves 3-4

2 heads of fennel

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 pink grapefruit

2 Tbsp. runny honey

1/2 tsp Chimayo blend New Mexico Red Chile powder


Pomegranate seeds (optional)

Poppy seeds (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit

Wash the fennel and remove any cute little fronds and set those aside. Aren’t they adorable? Slice the fennel in half lengthwise and then each half into four so you have eight wedges in total. Trim the core from the base slightly but leave enough so the fennel wedges stay together. Place in a baking pan, toss with the olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt.

Place in the preheated oven and cook for about 20-25 minutes, until you can easily insert a knife into the base of a wedge. You can crank up the heat for the last few minutes to get some nice browning if you can be bothered.

While the fennel is cooking, prepare the grapefruit. Take a slice off the bottom of the grapefruit and then one from the opposite end. You can now stand the grapefruit on your chopping board without it rolling off the table, hitting the dog and creating a scene. Take a sharp knife and cut away the peel, starting from the top to the bottom and following the shape of the grapefruit. The aim is to remove the bitter white pith without taking away the juicy flesh. Got it?

Then take a smaller knife and make v-shaped incisions to remove each grapefruit section — again leaving the fibrous white bits behind. Do this over a small bowl so you can capture all of the juice. Set the grapefruit slices aside. To the grapefruit juice, add the honey and the chile powder along with a healthy sprinking of salt.

Heat a skillet and place the grapefruit sections with the liquid in the pan and cook for a few minutes, reducing the liquid and coating the grapefruit. If a grapefruit section or two breaks up, don’t fall apart yourself. It’s really not the end of the world.

Place the fennel on a platter, top with the grapefruit slices and the syrupy liquid. Gently scatter some pomegrate seeds on top (if using and of course you’re using pomegranate seeds — they’re a super food) and some poppy seeds. Finish off with those cute fennel fronds and hey, presto! — you’re done. Look smug, serve and then get back to bed. It’s bound to be dark outside.

Fried Green Chile Tomatoes

There comes a time when even the most die-hard, speedo-wearing, sun tan-lotion-slatherer (yes, I know this isn’t actually a word), has to admit that summer is over. Gone. History. Perhaps it’s the fact that when you wake up it’s pitch black. Or that you spend your weekends in the Sisyphean act that is called raking leaves. Or you find yourself humming ‘Boys of Summer’ by Don Henley, a tiny tear in the corner of your eye…

It would be so much easier if we could act like a bear and hiberate for the next five to six months, wake up refreshed and enter a world covered with daffodils. Sadly that won’t happen. And sadly the vegetables of summer — the corn, tomatoes and berries — are gone too. Yes, I know parsnip puree is a treat but you know what I mean.

Not to go all glass half full on you — perish the thought — but there can be the odd upside to Autumn. Take the aforementioned tomatoes. If you can get your hands on some green ones then you have the beginnings of something truly spectacular: fried green tomatoes. To state the obvious, they’re not ripe so they hold their shape when you fry them. They’re coated with flour and egg and then a crumb of some sort and then — did I mentioned they’re fried?

Because there are two basic rules of culinary science: everything is better with bacon and everything is better fried. If you’re still unconvinced, name another dish that has it’s own movie. See, I told you so.

Fried Green Chile Tomatoes

Serves 6 as a side dish

1 lb. green tomatoes, about 6-7 smallish ones

2 eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk (if you don’t have any, don’t despair, use milk, reduce it by a tablespoon and replace that with lemon juice — voila!)

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup cornmeal

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

2 tsp salt

1 tsp Green jalapeño powder

1/2 cup vegetable oil

This is a military operation so snap to it! Get three shallow bowls. In one combine the flour with 1/2 tsp salt. In another, places the eggs, another 1/2 tsp of salt and give them a good stir. In the last, place the cornmeal, breadcrumbs, the last teaspoon of salt and the green jalapeno powder. Give a stir to blend.

Remove the stem from the tomatoes and cut them into slices — about 4 or so per tomato. Heat the oil in a skillet to medium-high. The oil should generously cover the bottom. If you have a friend, partner, spouse or neighbor rope them in to help you. Dust the slices with flour, dip them in the egg and then coat them with the cornmeal/breadcrumb mixture. Place them in the hot pan and cook them in the oil until nicely browned — about 2 minutes or so — then flip them and repeat on the other side. Cook one or two first — taste them and adjust the salt or chile powder if you feel it needs more.

Cook the tomatoes in batches — you don’t want to overcrowd the pan. Keep the cooked tomatoes warm and then serve at once with wedges of lemon. But to be honest, they’re not bad room temperature either.

Red chile apple tart with pistachios & honey

Ah summer, you elusive temptress…you’re here and then in a blink you’re gone. You bat your eyes and shoot us a sunny smile and we think — silly mortals that we are — that you’ll stay forever. Was it the Hawaiian shirt we wore at the last barbecue? The zinc oxide we slathered on our noses at the beach? What did we do to send you off in a huff, leaving us with untold months of greyness before you deign to make your return?

Now hold on just a darn minute. Before we go too far down that rabbit hole, let’s remember that it’s not over yet. We have 24 hours before it’s officially Autumn. And if we’re lucky, we’ll tuck in a few more warm days before we have to dig out the snow shovels. And be honest — is summer really that wonderful? Sure there’s ice cream but there’s no law against eating frozen treats 365 days of the year (just think how much slower a scoop melts when it’s below freezing outside). Summer means flies and other insects and weeds growing like — well, like weeds.

Keep the pastry chilled until you’re ready to fill it! Got that?

Let’s face it, summer is not all it’s cracked up to be. Autumn is elegant. It’s golden leaves turning umber and orange. It’s restrained and glamorous. Think of it as the Julianne Moore of the seasons. And in the world of food it’s a bonanza, a veritable cornucopia of fresh fruit and vegetables. So stop whining. Buck up. Get a grip. And for heavens sake, get cooking.

Gently fold the pastry the pastry over the filling and you’re ready to go.

1-8 oz. puff pastry round

1 lb. hard, crisp apples (about 6 small-ish ones)

4 Tbsp unsalted butter

1 1/2 Tbsp honey (a bit more if you like things sweeter)

1/2 tsp Chimayo Blend New Mexico Chile

1/4 cup chopped pistachios

Squeeze of lemon in a bowl of water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Cut the apples in quarters, remove the core and slice each quarter in half or thirds. Place the slices in the water with the lemon juice (this will prevent them from turning brown). When you’ve sliced all the apples, drain and place in a frying pan with the butter. Cook over medium heat for about four minutes before adding the honey and chile. Continue cooking for about another four minutes. The apples should be tender but firm. Place the apple mixure in a bowl and allow to cool.

Place the pastry in an oven-proof round pan with an 8″ base, preferably a cast iron pan. The pastry will go up the sides of the pan a bit. When the apples are cool, spread them out onto the pastry. Sprinkle all over with the pistachios and gently fold the edges of the pastry over the fruit mixture to form an open-faced tart.

Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes until the pastry is cooked and nicely browned. Serve warm out of the oven or at room temperature.

Habanero Peanut Noodles

Smooth and creamy thanks to the peanut butter with a kick courtesy of your friend and mine, the habanero.

I won’t keep you long. You’re probably busy burning burgers and fighting off smoke inhalation due to an overly aggressive use of charcoal briquets. The beer is warm and the potato salad has been sitting out far longer than recommended by food hygeine experts. You’re surrounded by guests and you wonder who invited them over and then remember that you did.

Congratulations: it’s the Fourth of July. The good news is that tomorrow is the Fifth of July and things go back to normal. In the meantime, smile and wave, as we say. Your guests will leave (eventually) and you can slink back to your lair and watch a boxed set.

And if you’re feeling a bit hungry later today (ever notice how you’re the only one who never gets anything to eat at these shindigs?), then might I suggest a bowl of habanero peanut noodles? It’s spicy, crunchy, and addictive. Heck, you could even serve some at your Fourth of July party. On second thought, forget that. No reason to encourage folks to stay longer than necessary.

The habanero (lower left hand corner) may be small but it is mighty (hot)!

Habanero Peanut Noodles

serves 2-3

1 package — about 7 oz. — udon noodles (or use another noodle)

1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter

1 Tbsp white miso (if you can’t be bothered, you could add another tablespoon of peanut butter and I won’t tell)

1 tsp coarsely chopped fresh ginger

1 small clove of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

juice of 1 lime

1 Tbsp soy sauce

1 dried habanero chile

To garnish: Your choice of chopped green onions, julienned carrots and cucumber, sesame seeds, chopped peanuts, lime wedges, bean sprouts and cilantro.

Snap off the stem of the chile, remove the seeds and place in a small bowl. I strongly encourage you to wear gloves when you do this so you don’t do what I do and rub your eye. Pour boiling water over the chile and allow to rehydrate for 5-10 minutes.

Place the peanut butter, miso (if using it), chopped ginger and garlic, lime juice, soy sauce and the habanero chile (ditch the water it was soaking in) in the small bowl of a food processor. Blitz. You’ll probably need to add a tablespoon or two of hot water if it’s too thick.

Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Scoop the noodles out of the pan, place into a serving bowl and add several spoonfuls of the sauce. If it’s a bit claggy, add a bit of the noodle cooking water. Serve in bowls with your choice of garnishes.

Slurp the noodles up making an unwarranted amount of noise. Sigh and repeat.

Baked Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with a chile, lime, pecan butter

Hey fellows, did you dodge the bullet? C’mon, you know what I’m talking about. Valentine’s Day. Yesterday. I saw you at the gas station buying a slightly — scratch that, very — suspect bunch of carnations that looked like they’d seen better days. It was the panicked look in your face that said it all: ‘Yep, I totally forgot it was Valentine’s Day.’

Or you, the fellow standing in the frozen food section, wondering to yourself if a pepperoni pizza says ‘I love you’. In case you’re still wondering, it doesn’t.

But let’s face it, Valentine’s Day is a ruse, a ploy to strike fear in your heart and empty your wallet. Love — or even mild affection — doesn’t need a day. It doesn’t need a smaltzy card or roses and baby’s breath. You don’t need February 15th to say I-think-I-sort-of-perhaps-might-somewhat-like-you-only-not-during-a-major-league-baseball-game.

Jazz up your sweet potato with an easy chile, lime, pecan butter

If you really want to win someone’s heart, then cook for them. Make them a plate of food and you’ve got them wrapped around your little finger. This isn’t Valentine’s Day, it’s every day. It doesn’t have to be complicated or cost a lot — it just has to taste good.

And our baked stuffed sweet potatoes tick all the boxes. They’re quick, easy and taste delicious. You can’t ask for more than that.

A quick rub of olive oil and sprinkle of sea salt adds extra flavor

4 small sweet potatoes, about 5-7 ounces each

1 stick, 4oz butter (softened)

1/2 Tbsp New Mexico Red Chile (mild or hot)

2 Tbsp chopped pecans

Zest of 1 lime


Olive oil

Optional extras:

Crumbled goat’s cheese

Chopped cilantro

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Wash the sweet potatoes, dry them and give them a light rub of olive oil. Sprinkle them with sea salt and place them in a casserole dish. Bake them for 45 minutes to an hour, until you can easily insert a knife or skewer into them.

While the sweet potatoes are doing their thing, make the chile, lime, pecan butter. Place the softened butter in a small bowl, add the pecans, chile, lime zest and about 1/2 tsp of salt. Mash it around like you’re a toddler playing with your food. Taste and add more chile or salt.

Slice the baked sweet potatoes down the middle and add a generous dollop of the butter mixture. Top with goat’s cheese and cilantro, if using and get eating. No one’s extending any invitations around here.

Dinner, my friends, is served!

Tomato Salad with Cilantro Pesto

I never met a tomato I didn’t like. Scratch that. I never met a vine-ripened tomato I didn’t like. Now don’t start rolling your eyes and muttering under your breath. I can hear you, you know and no, I’m not being an elitist snob.

Okay, maybe I am, but so what? Sometimes in life there is a right way to do something and a wrong way. And trust me folks, picking a tomato when it’s green, transporting it halfway around the world and then popping it in the refrigerator is wrong. W-R-O-N-G.

Whoever thought that tomatoes need to be refrigerated anyway? The refrigerator is for bottles of strange chutneys and sauces that you use once and then forget about for 2-3 years. It’s for leftovers that find their way to the very back of the shelf where they gestate until they’re so covered with fuzzy mould that you can’t tell if they were animal, vegetable or mineral. The fridge is not, however, for tomatoes.

Refrigerating tomatoes kills the flavor so don’t do it. Got it?

Tomatoes should smell of sun (yes, I know that technically you can’t smell sun, but bear with me). They should be warm to the touch, firm yet yielding and above all, juicy. Place thick slices between two pieces of white bread that have been liberally slathered with mayonnaise. And don’t forget to generously season them with salt and pepper. Eat and enjoy life as the tomato juices run down you chin.

Yes, it’s messy. Yes, you look like a slob. Yes, you trash that brand new white shirt you bought (what were you thinking of buying a white shirt for heaven’s sake?). But it’s worth it. Just don’t let those precious tomatoes anywhere near the fridge. Promise?

Toasting nuts is not the time to check your emails or put a load of laundry in. Focus, people, focus.

And if you’d like something a smidge more sophisticated, then try our tomato salad recipe.

Tomato Salad with Cilantro Pesto

Serves 4

1 1/2 lbs tomatoes

Small bunch of cilantro, leaves and stems washed and roughly chopped

2 heaping Tbsp pine nuts, plus more for garnishing

1 small clove of garlic, minced

3 oz olive oil

1/8-1/4 tsp Hatch green chile powder


Chile pequin, to garnish

Place the pine nuts in a small saucepan and toast them for a few minutes over medium heat until nicely browned (Browned people, not burnt. There is a difference). Remove from the pan and allow the pine nuts to cool. Place the cilantro in the bowl of a small food processor along with the minced garlic, Hatch green chile powder, pine nuts and two tablespoons of the olive oil. Blitz until it forms a rough paste. Season with salt and add more chile powder if it needs more heat. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil if the mixture feels too thick — you should be able to drizzle it over your tomatoes.

Slice your non-refrigerated tomatoes and place them on a plate. Drizzle over the pesto and garnish with more pine nuts and some Chile pequin. Serve and enjoy.

Even better? Add a baguette so you can soak up all those juices!

Grilled asparagus with mozzarella and red chile-honey dressing

Sharing is seriously overrated. Sure, it looks good on paper. It’s the ‘right’ thing to do. And be honest, how many times have you told your kids to share the toys/computer game/remote control and ‘play nicely’? 

But sometimes it’s a whole lot more fun to have a party where only three invitations go out: me, myself, and I. No sharing that stellar bottle of wine. No fear that when you offer a guest first dibs from your box of chocolates that they’ll end up with your favorite dark chocolate with caramel and sea salt, while you get stuck with the weird one with the pink filling that tastes like the perfume your Granny used to wear. 

There is no better argument for not sharing than a bunch of asparagus, especially if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on some thick, fat stalks. Sure, you could divide them in half and give your dining companion three or even four, if you’re feeling like a martyr. But how much better to hog them for yourself. Add a ball of fresh mozzarella, a chile-honey dressing and go for it.

No sharing. No ‘Honestly, you have the last one. I couldn’t eat another bite.’ No holier than thou moment. And when you’re done, crack open that box of chocolates. Go on – you know you want to. 

Serves one (or two if you’re feeling friendly)

One bunch of asparagus – about 6 fat spears

One ball of mozzarella – buffalo or burrata if you won the lottery

3 Tbsp. vegetable oil + extra for grilling the asparagus

1 – 1 ½ Tbsp. rice wine vinegar

1 tsp runny honey

¼ – ½ tsp Chile de arbol – Cayenne powder

¼ tsp sea salt

Chile caribe to garnish 

Note: some folks like to snap off the end of their asparagus but we think you lose too much. Instead, trim the end and then take a vegetable peeler and shave off some of the outer woody bit. It will be nice and tender. Promise. 

Add a couple of inches of water to a frying pan that is large enough to hold the asparagus in a single layer. Bring the water to a boil, add a generous spoonful of salt and the asparagus. Cover and steam for 2 to 3 minutes or until you can insert a knife easily into the base of the stalk. Gently place the asparagus into a wide colander and rinse with ice cold water to cool them down. Set the asparagus on some paper towels to dry them off.

Heat your grill to medium-hot. (You can also do this inside on a grill pan if the weather isn’t cooperating.) While the grill is heating up, make the dressing. Whisk together the oil, rice wine vinegar, honey, chile and salt. Taste and add more chile and/or salt as needed. 

Brush the asparagus with some oil and place on the hot grill. Turn the spears about every thirty seconds to get nice grill marks all around the spears. Remove from the grill. Place the mozzarella on a plate, place the spears around it, and drizzle over the dressing. Sprinkle with some chile caribe. 

Zucchini ribbons with chile, pine nuts & ricotta

At the Chile Trail, we live for danger. Don’t believe us? Try this on for size. We’ve been known to let the gas tank get down to a quarter full before filling it up again. Yep, we know – madness. Once we waited to pack for holiday a whole week before we left. Crazy? You got it. 

So when someone gave us a mandoline for Christmas we saw danger written all over it. For the uninitiated, a mandoline is a kitchen utensil with a flat frame and adjustable blades for slicing vegetables. The danger? Use it without the hand guard and you’ll find that it’s good for creating wafer thin slices of finger too.  

Zucchini ribbons sliced on the mandoline.

How could we resist? Soon we were slicing everything that didn’t move from carrots to fennel to apples and pears. We thought about it using it on butter but realized that was just silly. This I’m-a-fancy-pants-chef-like-person-dish is the result of our borderline obsession with the mandoline.

If you don’t have a mandoline, you could use a super sharp knife or even try a vegetable peeler. Or you could stop being such a cheap so-and-so and buy one. They’re – as they say in England – cheap as chips. And then you too can take a walk on the wild side.   

Ricotta is optional but you know you love it.

Serves 4

1.5 lb. zucchini – green, yellow, whatever

¼- ½ tsp. chile pequin

1 large clove of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

3 Tbsp. pine nuts, lightly toasted

2-3 Tbsp. olive oil

1 lemon

Ricotta cheese (optional)

Wash the zucchini and give the stem end a light trim. Slice on the mandoline to create long ribbons. Or use a super sharp knife or vegetable peeler.

Place a deep frying pan on medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. When it’s warmed, add the chile pequin. The chile should sizzle and spit. Don’t be deterred – remember, we live for danger. Add the garlic, give it a quick stir and then immediately add the zucchini (if you’re busy texting your buddy you’ll find that you’ve burned your garlic). 

Season with salt and stir fry for a few minutes. The zucchini should relax but you don’t want it limp. Remove from the heat and stir in half of the pine nuts. Place the zucchini on a platter. Finely grate the lemon over the zucchini. Slice the lemon in half and give the veg a few generous squeezes of lemon juice. Sprinkle the remaining pine nuts over the top and add another hit of chile pequin and generous dollops of ricotta cheese, if you’re using.

Sit down and eat. You deserve it. You’ve faced danger and come out the other side.  

Don’t forget to add more chile. Always more chile.

Chile-spiced black eyed peas with sweet potatoes

Well, this is it. Another year is gone (good riddance 2020) and a long winter stretches ahead of us. While January is technically only 31 days, we figure those are dog days so it’s actually 217 days in total. Makes sense doesn’t it?

If your birthday is in January, apologies for disrespecting your month but be honest – wouldn’t you rather a summer birthday? But survive we will, each in our own way. Perhaps you’ve dusted off the backgammon set or taken up stamp collecting or knitting. Some of you may make like a bear and try to sleep your way through the month (just don’t forget your zoom call with the boss on Thursday morning…). 

Needs must, as my Granny used to say. But then again, no one ever really listened to her, did they? Basically, do what you need to do to make it through the month. By all means, take up a new language or simply try to remember your first one – we’re flexible.

And cook something…something warm and spicy and simple to fix. Take a bowl with you to you man/bear cave for a well-deserved nap and a long winter snooze.  

Serves 6

2 cups dried black eyed peas, rinsed

1 dried New Mexico red chile

1 red onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp. ancho chile powder

1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced


1 ½ Tbsp. olive oil

Juice of one lime

To garnish (optional):

Chile pequin

Chopped cilantro

Additional lime wedges

Place the beans in a pot and cover with water by several inches. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, add in the dried red chile, cover and let sit for one hour. Place back on the heat and return to the boil. Reduce and simmer until tender. 

While the beans are cooking, heat 1 ½ tablespoons of oil in a frying pan. Add the onion and cook slowly until soft and translucent. Add in the garlic and the ancho chile powder and cook for another minute before adding in the diced sweet potato. Cook for another 10-15 minutes until the sweet potato is cooked but still firm. Drain the beans, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Add the beans to the sautéed vegetables, plus a ladleful of the cooking liquid. Taste and add salt as needed. Cook gently until the liquid is absorbed.

Remove from the heat and stir in lime juice, chopped cilantro, a generous sprinkle of the chile pequin and lime wedges (if using). Any leftovers make the start of a smashing soup.