This year I grew Chilaca/Pasilla chile peppers for the first time. The Chilaca is a long slim dark green pepper that turns dark brown when ripe. The dried Chilaca is known as Pasilla Bajio (little raisin), or simply Pasilla. The much wider, thicker walled Poblano chile is sometimes incorrectly labeled as Pasilla. The Poblano pepper when dried is known as an Ancho chile. While both the Ancho and Pasilla are frequently used together to make molé sauce they are completely different varieties of peppers.
Having never experienced fresh Chilaca chiles, I decided to feature them in a sauce.
I charred the peppers with a torch, put them in a paper bag to sweat, rinsed off the charred skin and removed the seeds and stems. The peppers were then ground together with roasted onion and garlic, roasted pumpkin seeds, a small squeeze of lime juice and water.
Faye was away at a business meeting so I indulged my tastes by making a crispy black bean burrito with which to enjoy the Chilaca chile sauce.
I spread a tortilla with refried black beans, spread a little homegrown tomato sauce and sprinkled oregano, cumin powder and chili powder on top.
30 seconds in the microwave heated the beans and softened the tortilla so it could be folded and rolled into a burrito.
The burrito was toasted on 4 sides in a skillet with a light spray of olive oil.
The sauce had a mild flavor and a moderate heat level that didn’t overwhelm the senses. It went well with the black bean burrito.
The Chilaca chile pepper sauce was also enjoyed with sweet potatoes and again with eggs.