Eleftherios (Terry) Natas, Regional Chef of Richard Sandoval’s El Centro D.F., uses guajillo peppers in about 75 percent of the dishes. Prized for its concentrated flavors of smoke, heat and fruitiness, this pepper deepens the complexity of many authentic Mexican dishes. “Guajillo peppers are always on the table when we’re creating new menu items,” says Natas. He features them in most of the restaurant’s marinades, salsas and moles.
The mezcal-brined Smoked Pork Tenderloin is a recent example of a dish that stars the guajillo pepper. “You get the smokiness from the mezcal and the quick wood smoking,” he says. “The mild spice and sweetness from the guajillo goes with the other flavors like they belong together.”