Ancho-Chili Caesar Salad

Our friends over at Fiesta Brand Spices came over and taught us a few things about cooking with Chili Pods, or dried Chili Peppers. I was so intimidated by dried peppers because I had never cooked with them before and had absolutely no clue what to do with them and let me tell you, don’t be intimidated by them! They are actually very simple to use and are a complete GAME CHANGER in the kitchen. I think these things might be my newest secret weapon in my Mexican Flavored dishes!

Now, lets talk about this Ancho Caesar Salad Dressing, shall we?! Holy Moly, it is like crack! I could honestly just grab a spoon and eat it like soup it is SO good. Make a big batch of this salad dressing and pour it over your lettuce to jazz up your lunches this week. It is heavenly!

Stay tuned for more of the recipes from my cooking session with Fiesta Brand Spices. The upcoming recipes I have to share are so freaking good and I am SO excited to share with you! Until then, go make this salad and experiment with some Chili Pods! You’ll be obsessed.

Ancho Chili Caesar Salad
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
  1. 1 (2oz) tin of flat anchovies with oil
  2. 10 cloves peeled garlic
  3. 1 1/3 cup olive oil
  4. 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  5. 1/3 cup lemon juice
  6. 1 tbsp. dijon mustard
  7. pulp from 3-4 Ancho Chili Pods
  8. Kosher salt and Cracked black pepper, to taste
  9. 3 heads of Romaine Lettuce, coarsely chopped
  10. 1 red bell pepper, seeds/stem removed and diced
  11. 1 avocado, diced
  1. Remove stem from chili pods and take out all the seeds.
  2. In a small saucepan, place 3 ancho chili pods and fill with water until pods are just covered. Place over medium-low heat for 10 minutes to rehydrate. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove chilies from the water and onto a cutting board. Make a slit in the tops of the chilies and open them up. Using a spoon, scrape the chilis and get as much "pulp" as possible.
  4. Place the garlic and anchovies with oil in a food processor or blender, pulse until almost paste-like.
  5. Add the ancho chili pulp, the olive oil, the red wine vinegar, the lemon juice and the dijon mustard. Process in blender until dressing is combined. Taste, and add salt and pepper to your liking.
  6. Pour desired amount of dressing over lettuce, avocado and red bell pepper. Toss and serve!
Adapted from Fiesta Brand Spices
The Defined Dish http://www.thedefineddish.com/

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