Sue's Mexican Table Salsa

YIELD: 3 cups




  • 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.