This dip is a simple appetizer to have up your sleeve. It highlights the poblano in two forms: fresh and dried (a.k.a. ancho). The resulting dip packs in a lot of chili flavor with a gentle, lingering heat -- with the sherry vinegar nicely balancing the flavors. I like to roast the fresh poblanos first to remove their skin, and since I'm not a big fan of raw garlic, I throw in a few cloves to roast alongside the chiles. Serve with good-quality tortilla chips or crudite, and you'll have a real crowd pleaser on your hands. It's also delicious served with smoked or grilled meats and grilled vegetables. —EmilyC
6 to 8
2 fresh poblano chiles
2 ancho chiles
up to 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil (reserve a few teaspoons for roasting poblano and garlic)
6 small garlic cloves
4 cups cooked cannellini beans (or 2 cans, 15 oz each, drained and rinsed)
1 T sherry vinegar, or to taste
kosher salt + freshly ground black pepper, to taste
red chili pepper flakes (optional and to taste)
2 T fresh cilantro or mint leaves, coarsely chopped (optional)
To roast poblano and garlic:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the poblano and garlic cloves on a sheet pan and drizzle with a few teaspoons of olive oil. Roast for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the garlic is soft and the skin of the poblano is evenly blistered. Remove from the oven and let cool. (For easy removal of skin, put poblano in a paper bag (with top rolled down) for 5 to 10 minutes, then rub the skin off. Remove the papery skin from garlic. Set aside.
To rehydrate anchos:
While your poblanos and garlic are roasting, cover the anchos with boiling water in a heatproof bowl and let stand until softened, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain. Remove the stem, and discard the seeds of you want less heat.
To assemble dip:
Place the poblanos, anchos, and garlic in a food processor. Pulse about 10 seconds. Add the white beans and pulse a few more times. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream until it reaches a spreadable consistency; puree until smooth. Season with sherry vinegar, salt and pepper to taste -- making sure to add just a little at a time until the flavors really come together. You can also crank up the heat by adding some red chili pepper flakes; pulse a few times to integrate. Immediately before serving, sprinkle the chopped cilantro or mint over the dip, if using.