Use dried chilies as a garnish and in sauce
The basic function of a dark red New Mexico chili ristra is to store chilies, not to be admired. I break off chilies to cut into strips and toast in oil to add to salads and to garnish mashed potatoes and vegetables.
When the ristra gets too ratty-looking, I break off the remaining chilies and make a big batch of this sauce to freeze. Use it in any recipe that calls for canned chili sauce, or add it as part of the liquid when making chili with beans or meats.
Bueno Foods in Albuquerque sells ristras for $26; (800) 888-7336.