Rick Bayless is a pioneer in bringing authentic, regional Mexican food to American diners through his Chicago restaurants, TV cooking shows and culinary tours. Here, he uses two varieties of chilies to create a salsa and glaze for salmon.
4 garlic cloves
2 guajillo or ancho chilies, stemmed, seeded and torn in large pieces
2 cups salted peanuts, skinless, roasted
5 canned chipotle chilies, removed from the canning liquid
Salt, as needed
1/2 cup honey
8 each 5 to 6 oz Alaska salmon fillets
Fresh cilantro, roughly chopped for garnish
- Prepare salsa: In a dry skillet, roast garlic over med. heat, turning occasionally until soft and blackened in spots, about 15 min. Remove and let cool; peel.
- In same skillet, toast the guajillo or ancho chilies, using a spatula to press them against the heated surface until aromatic. (You may see faint whisps of smoke.) Cover with hot water and rehydrate for 20 to 30 min.
- Drain chilies and transfer to a blender. Add garlic, peanuts and 3 of the canned chipotles. Pour in water to the level of the peanuts and blend to a smooth puree. (If necessary, stir in more water to give the mixture the consistency of an easily spoonable salsa. Season with salt to taste, about 1/2 tsp.
- Prepare salmon: Preheat broiler. In food processor, combine remaining 2 chipotle chilies with honey and 1/2 tsp salt; puree. Lay salmon fillets on a lightly oiled baking sheet and position 4 in. below broiler. Broil 2 min.; flip pieces of fish and return to broiler for 2 more min.
- Brush salmon heavily with glaze; return under broiler and cook 2 min. more for medium to medium-rare salmon. Serve with the peanut salsa and a sprinkling of chopped cilantro.