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.

Ingredients Preparation
  1. 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.)

  2. Saute onions in corn oil til just caramelized. Add garlic and optional ground cumin; continue to saute til garlic is soft.

  3. Throw in chilies, chili water and chicken stock powder (or salt). Boil down over medium to low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. 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....

Tasting notes:

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.)