Great with grilled meats or with tortilla chips. Toasting the dried chiles enhances the flavor, and roasting the tomatoes lends a luscious smoky overall flavor to the salsa. Traditionally, this is a very hot salsa. The tomatoes tend to cut the heat and the skins can be removed or not, as desired. If the salsa is still too hot, reduce the number of chiles to 12-15 (that is, the next time you make this, of course if you live through the first time!).
Heat Scale: Very Hot
20 dried Chiles de Arbol
2 mediuim Tomatoes, roasted -- seeds removed
2 cloves Garlic -- minced
2 tablespoons Vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground Cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground Oregano, or 1/2 teaspooon dried Oregano
(If your skin is sensitive, put on disposable gloves.) Remove stems and seeds from chiles. Heat the chiles on a "comal" or in a dry, heavy skillet until they are toasted, being careful they don't burn (about 5 minutes). Remove to a medium bowl and cover with hot tap water to rehydrate, about 20 minutes. Drain the chiles, reserving soaking liquid, and place into a blender or food processor with the remaining ingredients; puree until smooth, or leave some chunks if desired. If needed, add some of the soaking liquid until the desired consistency is reached. Store in plastic containers or sterilized canning jars until ready to use. Yield: 1-1/2 cups.

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Copyright 2002 Carol Stevens, Shaboom's Kitchen, All Rights Reserved