As far as I’m concerned, peppers are pretty perfect. Raw, sautéed, or roasted, they shine on their own, but they also support my favorite dishes (red beans and rice, étouffée, fajitas, etc.). But any time I pick a pepper, I toss out its ribs and seeds. I feel bad about it, but not every dish calls for heat.
Pepper guilt, begone! In her latest cookbook, La Latina, Food Network Host Grace Ramirez describes an ingenious way to honor the entire pepper: chile salt.
It’s the perfect way to incorporate life, flavor and spice into your daily dishes and drinks.
Ramirez uses dried guajillo chilies, slightly fruity peppers with earthy, tart undertones, for her chile salt, but follow your own heat-seeking heart. Simply remove 4 teaspoons worth of ribs and seeds from your dried chilies (or roughly chop whole chilies), then pulse them in a blender or spice grinder. Add 1 teaspoon of rock salt and pulse twice more and you'll have the perfect garnish for margaritas, micheladas, and huevos motuleños. Chile salt lasts for two weeks in an airtight container, but don't worry—we have tons of other ways you can use it.