Jim (Laughing Buddha) recalls Mario's Sauce

INGREDENTS:

- 2 cups dried De Arbol Chile pods (Small red -- little finger size.) You
can use the "count them method" if you want - but you want to fill the pan
you are using. Would be maybe 50-ish peppers.
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed/chopped/smashed
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin or 1 teaspoon of corriander seed (either give a
special pizazz that makes it nice)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablepoon packed brown sugar smoother than regular sugar - can use
either. I'm gonna use Brown next time - thats why I list as such
- 1 teaspoon white/cider vinegar (may be up to a cup. This is where you get to
experiment -- extra can be added after blending)
(+/- might think of adding 1 teaspoon of oregano)

TOOLS:

Grill -- heat source
Cast Iron Pan (10 inch) or griddle
Gloves - latex/vinyl/rubber etc
Blender Food Processor

DIRECTIONS
WARNING --- READ ALL STEPS BEFORE STARTING!

1. Remove stems and some of the seeds from the dried chile pods. Wear
gloves - wash your hands - don't touch your eyes! Technique: Cut the top
off of each chile to remove the stem. Now, slit the side of the chile to
split it. Dump the seeds - and scrape the lining of the pods. Now there
are a lot of these little suckers in 2 cups - so you're gonna get lazy --
thats ok. Just top 'em and dump the seeds.

NOW, GO OUTSIDE! Fire up the gas grill or what ever you are going to use to
toast the pods - don't do it inside! Get a 10 inch cast iron pan, griddle -
or whatever.

2. Heat the cast-iron skillet over medium - medium high heat. Toast the
chile pods in the skillet until lightly brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. You
will smell the chiles as they cook. Watch your eyes! It does not take very
long. If you burn them - pitch it out and start over. The burnt flavor
will be in the sauce and very bitter.

3. When they're done == quench the chilis in the pan with the water. Watch
the steam - its potent! Clears your sinuses and melt your eyeballs.

4. Transfer the chile pods and water to a small bowl. Let them soak for
30-40 minutes. These little hot puppies like to float - so use a spoon,
plate, bowl to weight them down. Yo are reconstituting -- they gotta get
wet! Taste the water after 30 minutes. Bitter?? ---Throw out the water
and use fresh for the next step - else use what you got. You can save a
little and use as a chile stock for a nice beef marinade too.

5. Place the chiles (and water old or new), the garlic, cumin, salt, brown
sugar, salt, and vinegar all in a food processor. Puree the mixture until
smooth. An alternative -- you can blend the chiles and liquid just into a
paste and use as needed. This makes a potent starter for a number of
dishes - Like my buddy's babby back ribs. That plan here is to get to a
slasa like consistency for tacos, chips etc. So add liquid as you luike
while blending.

If its done right - you get a nice, smooth, sweet-hot burn that rolls from
the tip of your tounge to the back of your throat. Heat - not flame! Good
enough to make you have some more! The sugar helps the heat roll through
your mouth.

IMPORTANT TIPS:

1. No tomatoes - it will keep shelf stable because the vinegar and sugar
will preserve it. If concerned about the garlic or oregano going off over
time - then refrigerate it. But we've had it on the shelf for months at a
time - how I don't know - rationing I guess!