Prep 1 hr
Cook 0 mins
This is probably not like the usual run-of-the-mill salsas you are used to. It's a roasty type of salsa, with guess what? No tomatoes allowed. If you thought salsa had to have tomatoes, you should definitely try this. I first had something like it at a Mexican restaurant not too far from where I live. Wanting it for home, I knew it wouldn't be long before I made my own version. I hope you like it! I do! You will need the dried chiles for this. Look for them at any Mexican or Hispanic grocery, or a market that has international foods (you can also buy them online). The minced jalapeno and habanero are just suggestions (what I used). If you like it hotter, or have different types of peppers, or don't want them (the salsa is mildly spicy without), then feel free to adjust that to your own taste.
- 10 dried New Mexico chiles
- 10 dried arbol chiles
- 3 dried guajillo chilies
- 1 dried ancho chile
- 1 quart boiling water
- 1⁄2 large sweet onion, coarsely chopped
- 1⁄4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 teaspoons salt, to taste
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1⁄4 cup finely chopped cilantro
- 2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
- 1 fresh habanero pepper, seeded and minced
- About one hour before, tear off the stems and any woody part from the dried chiles.
- Shake out all the seeds, and tear them up (like you are ripping up an evil credit card) and place them into a heatproof bowl.
- Cover torn chiles with the 4 cups boiling water (make sure they are covered well- add more boiling water if needed).
- Weigh the top of the chiles down with a heatproof plate (just to make sure they stay submerged).
- Allow them to soften in the hot water for about 1 hour.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the chiles from the water, but do not discard the water (set it aside for now).
- Place the softened chiles in a blender or food processor, along with the chopped 1/2 onion, salt, garlic, red wine vinegar, and lime juice.
- Puree mixture until smooth, adding 3/4-1 cup of the reserved soaking liquid to get the consistency you like (discard any liquid you don't need or save it to cook with rice).
- Pour pureed salsa into a bowl, and stir in the minced chiles (protect your hands if you want with gloves while mincing) (use habanero, jalapeno or whatever kind you like or have) and chopped cilantro.
- If you have not protected your hands with gloves while mincing the hot chiles, wash them several times with dishwashing liquid to help remove some of the volatile oils.
- And don't rub your eyes.
- The salsa may get hotter as it sits for awhile with those minced chiles, so consider that when deciding how many chiles to use.
- Adjust seasonings for salt (if necessary) and serve with warmed chips or over food.
Great recipe and really Mexican. I very seldom ran into tomatoes in salsa in Mexico. Or if they were there they had only a slight tomato taste. I also made it without the vinegar and it's great.
I am IN LOVE with the flavor of this recipe! The only reason it gets a four instead of a five is because HOLY COW, girl! You must have taste buds of steel! I didn't add the jalapenos nor the habenero, and it was more than "mildly spicy." (I did allow a few seeds from the dried peppers to sneak their way in...maybe that's why?) I also left out the cilantro because I wanted to use this as an enchilada-type sauce, and cilantro wasn't a flavor I was looking for. I added close to 3 cups of liquid to make it more pourable, and saved 1/2 cup amounts in snack-sized Ziplocs and froze them to take to work with my homemade frozen veggie lunch wraps. Froze well! The vinegar separated a tiny bit, but a quick stir and it was good to go. I am not in love with how much prep work went into the chiles, but the flavor, I have to admit, makes up for it. I'll probably make and freeze in large batches in the future so I don't have to hassle with the prep as often. I will certainly serve this as table salsa as well, with the cilantro and less liquid...about a cup was a good consistency for me. My dad and I have always loved chile-based salsas, but I've never had one quite this good (I think it's the lime...could be the vinegar, too...). Thanks a trillion, Sue. You're the best! :-)
Absolutely AWESOME! the flavor compliments fish tacos amazingly. My wife and I almost went through a whole bag of chips in one meal with this recipe too. Great Recipe, keep up the great work.