Kitchen Notes

Hot Sauce Field Guide: Mojo Picon

Mojo, like salsa or aji, is really a blanket term, used across multiple countries to refer to a wide spectrum of chili-based sauces. In Cuba, its defining characteristic is orange juice; in Puerto Rico, it’s more of a garlic marinade than a hot sauce—some versions don’t even contain chilies! But the original version, which stems from the Canary Islands, is typically made with chilies (including dried ground pimentón), and bread.

Yield: 3/4 cup

  • 3 dried guajillo chilies (about 1/2 ounce)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 slice bread, cut into small cubes (about 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked pimentón
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

In a small bowl, cover the guajillos with boiling water and let sit for 10 minutes to rehydrate. Drain, reserving the liquid, and remove the stems and seeds from the chilies. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the bread and toast, stirring occasionally, until it turns golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the pimentón and toss to coat. Transfer the bread, the rehydrated chilies, garlic, red wine vinegar, and cumin to a food processor, and process. With the motor running, add the reserved chili soaking water by the tablespoon, until the sauce reaches your desired consistency (you can keep it thicker, like a paste, or thin it out to be more of a sauce).

Chili Herb Shortbread

We love a make-ahead recipe that saves us time while still impressing our guests. Savory shortbread does both; it’s an elegant stand in for cheese and crackers but can be made ahead and frozen until your guests arrive.

This version combines the sweet flavor of sun-dried tomatoes with a bit of guajillo heat and richness by way of Parmigiano cheese.

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Introducing the Chili Lab Hot Sauce Kit

Sometimes the only thing standing between you and a new cooking adventure is the right tools. To that end, we’re thrilled to announce our latest creation, The Chili Lab Hot Sauce Kit. A collaboration with W&P Design, the Hot Sauce Kit comes with everything you need to create a bespoke chili condiment of your own.

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Guajillo Chili Uses


What is the Guajillo Pepper?

Guajillo Pepper

Tough skins, meaty flesh, and mid-line heat level make these chilies perfect for purees and sauces. That's why we use guajillo as one of the primary pepper sin our Forager's Blend Chili Flakes and one of the artisan hot sauces in our Homemade Hot Sauce Kit.

Wanna know why we love guajillos? These Mexican chilies make great flavor agents in braising liquids for pork or beef. They also pair well with herb-based rubs for roasted chicken like Garden Blend Chili Flakes.

Here are some of our favorite uses for this saucy chili stalwart!

Recipes with Guajillo Pepper

Want to know some ways to use this Mexican cuisine staple in your house? Pick up some dried guajillos (or Forager's Blend Chili Flakes) and make some of these mouth-watering meals!

Grilled Chicken with Broad Dressing

Guajillo Pepper

Image via Epicurious 

This recipe is juicy, juicy, juicy! Between the citrusy zest of the lime and the robust flavor of the guajillo, you will never look at chicken the same way again. 


🌶 1 dried guajillo or New Mexico chile or 1 tsp of Forager's Blend Chili Flakes
🌶 3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
🌶 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
🌶 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
🌶 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
🌶 1/4 cup olive oil plus more for grill
🌶 Kosher salt
🌶 Freshly ground pepper
🌶 1 4-pound chicken, halved, backbone removed
🌶 Lime wedges (for serving)

Get recipe courtesy of Epicurious 

Chicken Wings with Guajillo Anchovy Sauce

Chicken Wings

Image Via New York Times Cooking

Marrying anchovies with Mexican chilies may not seem like the perfect match but it will have your taste buds doing backflips! This recipe takes a lot of prep work but is worth the wait!


For Wings:

🌶 ¼ cup brown sugar
🌶 ¼ cup kosher salt
🌶 ¼ cup lemon juice
🌶 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
🌶 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
🌶 2 tablespoons soy sauce
🌶 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
🌶 3 garlic cloves, peeled
🌶 Stems from 1 bunch fresh cilantro
16 large whole chicken wings

For Guajillo Sauce

🌶 3 dried guajillo chiles
🌶 1 dried ancho chile
🌶 5 garlic cloves, peeled
🌶 1 ½ teaspoons soy sauce
🌶 1 ½ teaspoons Thai fish sauce
🌶 1 ½ tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
🌶 Rinds and pulp of 2 juiced lemons, coarsely chopped
🌶 ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
🌶 6 white anchovy fillets
🌶 1 tablespoon finely ground chamomile flowers (finely ground pure chamomile “tea” may be used)
🌶 ½ cup fresh lemon juice
🌶 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste

Get the recipe courtesy of New York Times Cooking

Fava Soup with Mint and Guajillo Chilies

Fava Soup

Image via 101 Cookbooks

Soup is such a great way to warm your insides. Guajillo pepper is an amazing way to introduce a little to heat to the soup adding heat to your belly. Speaking of, if you're feeling sick--this is the soup to make. A little mint goes a long way with calming the stomach!


🌶 1 lb hulled dry fava beans, rinsed
🌶 8 cups vegetable broth 
🌶 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
🌶 1 large onion, sliced thick 
🌶 ½ lb ripe tomatoes  
🌶 6 medium dried guajillo or pasilla chiles, stemmed & seeded
🌶 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
🌶 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
🌶3/4 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
🌶 1 ½  teaspoon fine-grain sea salt, plus more to taste
🌶 ½ cup loosely packed chopped cilantro
🌶 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, pref. spearmint
🌶 ½ cup crumbled Mexican queso anejo or feta

Get recipe via 101 Cookbooks

Caldo de Res

beef stew with guajillo

Image via Saveur 

Last is certainly not least with the most authentic Mexican dishes of the bunch. This smoky stew contains beef oxtails and is crafted with a broth rich in herbs, spice, and citrus zest!


🌶 1 1⁄2 lb. beef oxtails, cut into 2″ lengths
🌶 6 cloves garlic, peeled
🌶 1 small white onion, quartered
🌶 Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
🌶 4 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed
🌶 1 plum tomato, cored and quartered
🌶 2 tbsp. canola oil
🌶 1 lb. small Yukon gold potatoes
🌶 1 tsp. dried oregano

Get recipe via Saveur.


Transform Your Kitchen with Guajillo Pepper

Want to see what everyone's going crazy about? Get guajillo pepper and start cooking. Don't have dried guajillo chilies in your neighborhood? No sweat (at least, not yet). Get dried guajillo chilies along with chipotle and pequin peppers with our delicious Forager's Blend Chili Flakes. Just a pinch brings the guajillo punch you've been longing for!


The Guajillo Chili Pepper


Traditionally used as the key component of the sauce that accompanies tamales, guajillo chilies feature a delightfully acidic flavor. With slightly tougher skins, they’re best made into a puree or paste.

Sourcing and storing: Guajillos are easily found in dried form (both whole and ground) at most supermarkets and online. Store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.