T's South American Dried Chile Salsa © ejmorris 2003 revised 13 August, 2003
After perusing a number of different salsa recipes, some of which included Worcestershire Sauce and/or ketchup and/or tomatoes, T decided to keep things as simple as possible so that the flavour of the chosen chili is optimally featured. Make each salsa a few hours before serving so the flavours meld together. We recommend Ancho, Cascabel, Chipotle OR Morita chillies.
3 dried chiles, seeded and stemmed (for Cascabel, use 6)
water for soaking chiles
1 medium onion, chopped
¼ c corn oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
pinch ground cumin (optional)
½ tsp chicken bouillon powder (or salt)
1 tsp lime juice or cider vinegar (optional)
½ tsp sugar (optional)
- Put 3 dried chiles* (seeded and stemmed) in enough water to cover. Soak until til soft. (* We use EITHER of Ancho, Chipotle, Morita, OR 6 Cascabel chiles. Cascabels are quite tough-skinned and need longer soaking.)
- Saute onions in corn oil til just caramelized. Add garlic and optional ground cumin; continue to saute til garlic is soft.
- Throw in chilies, chili water and chicken stock powder (or salt). Boil down over medium to low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add optional lime juice (or vinegar) and sugar at the end. Remove from heat and mash with a potato masher. If you want the salsa smoother, use a food processor.
Serve warm or at room temperature. This is great with grilled meat or fajitas or added to mayonnaise or....
Ancho Salsa: nose: apple, plum, tamarind; taste: confirmation of fruit in aroma, slightly bitter finish heat level: mild - slight heat at end; overall rating: 5/5
Cascabel Salsa: nose: plum, citrus, giuggioli (a certain wildness); taste: creamy tomato sauce with a little heat heat level: mild to medium; overall rating: 4.5/5 but we like it a lot
Chipotle Salsa: nose: smoky, slight sweetness, hint of citrus skin; taste: creamy, smoky, reminiscent of baked beans heat level: medium; overall rating: 5/5 - stellar
Guajillo Salsa: nose: baked beans, tomato, corn, over-stewed green beans; taste: fulfills the nose heat level: medium; overall rating: 2.5/5 - not that it's bad (cider vinegar improved the taste - lime juice would have been better. We probably won't get guajillos again. They are very tough skinned on top of being slightly less pleasing to our taste.)
Morita Salsa: nose: smoky, hint of raisins; taste: smoky, sweet, hot heat level: hot; overall rating: 5.5/5 - more than stellar (We did not add any cumin, lime juice OR sugar to the morita sauce.)