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This all-purpose cooked salsa forms a simple dip for chips, a topping for tacos or enchiladas, a pool of sauce for chiles rellenos or a key flavoring in soups, rices and stews. Variations couldn't be easier: substitute smoky chipotle chilies for the jalapenos, for example, or add chopped cilantro just before serving to give it a fresher flavor.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the vegetable oil. Add the onion and saute until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, chili pepper and salt and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add the tomatoes and their juices and reduce the heat to low. Cook the tomatoes, stirring occasionally to break them up, until soft and the juices have reduced by half, 10-15 minutes.
- Let cool slightly, then transfer to a blender. Puree until smooth, then strain through a sieve placed over a bowl. Set aside to cool completely for use as a table salsa. Or reheat gently over low heat to use hot. To store, cover tightly and keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
- Serving Size = 2 tablespoons.