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Chipotle-Ancho Chili Pesto

2 dried ancho or pasilla chilies
1 lg red bell pepper
2 canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, seeded and rinsed
1/3 c pine nuts (about 2 oz.)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
1/4 c olive oil (or more)

Remove stems and seeds from ancho chilies. Place chilies in large
bowl. Cover with boiling water. Let stand until soft, about 30
minutes. Drain, reserving 1 tablespoon soaking liquid. Roast bell
pepper over glas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides.
Seal in paper bag and let stand 15 minutes. Peel, stem and seed

In processor, blend anchos, 1 tablespoon soaking liquid, bell
pepper, chipotles, pine nuts, fresh lemon juice and garlic until
almost smooth. With machine running, gradually add 1/4 cup olive
oil; process until smooth. If pesto is dry, mix in more oil by
spoonfuls. Season with salt. Makes about 1-1/3 cups.

(Can be made ahead. Press plastic wrap onto surface of pesto.
Cover and refrigerate up to 2 days or freeze up to 1 week. Bring
to room temperature before using.)

NOTES : If you prefer a milder sauce, use only one chipotle chili
in this recipe; if you like your food super spicy, use two. This
pesto fires up polenta, pizzas, pasta sauces, corn on the cob,
chicken and hamburgers.


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