We first came to love chiles de árbol through a cookbook called Sunday Suppers at Lucques by Suzanne Goin, a Los Angeles chef. Before leafing through its pages, we thought of these chilies as an occasional variation, rather than a full-blown staple. But in Goin’s recipes, chilies de arbol appear with almost as much frequency as salt or pepper--they are a signature ingredient that elevates her unique California-meets-Mediterranean cooking style.
From making a few of her recipes, we learned that throwing a whole chili in with a marinade or into a pot of stew has a huge effect on flavor. It provides a touch of heat, sure, but also a subtle smoky botanical flavor that helps to balance rich dishes. In this risotto, two chilies, along with fresh thyme and bay, make all the difference in an otherwise simple dish.Read more