Foods | Cooking
Hints & Tips
This delicious salsa recipe and photos were shared with me by Karen Calanchini,
Food Stylist and Photographer, of Redding, CA. Recipe was adapted from the cookbook, Mexican Everyday, by Rick Bayless
with Deann Groen Bayless.
"This is not your usual salsa. It is rusty red, very spicy, and perfect
for drizzling over tacos, eggs, or anything cooked on your grill. Try serving
this salsa with pork tenderloin (see photo below) rubbed with salt, pepper, and chile powder (such
as Chipotle, Ancho, Pasilla, etc.), and then grilled."
Check out Linda's
Appetizer Recipes for more great appetizer ideas and also more
Smokey Toasted Arbol (or Guajilla) Salsa Recipe
Dips & Spreads,
1 cup salsa
Prep time: 20 min
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
16 (1/4 ounce total) dried arbol chile peppers, stemmed or 2 (1/2 ounce total) dried guajillo chiles*
garlic cloves, peeled (can use more if desired)
4 medium (about 8 ounces)
tomatillos, husked, rinsed and cut in half
1/4 cup water
Juice from 1 fresh lime
Chiles de arbol or arbol chile (ARE-bowl) are narrow, curved chiles that start
out green and mature to a 3-inch to 5-inch bright red pod. The arbol chile is very hot, and related to cayenne pepper.
These chiles register around 50,000-65,000 on the scoville heat unit scale (or about 7-8 on a 1-10
scale). These chile peppers are found Mexican Food Stores and in most hispanic food sections
of grocery stores. If you can't find arbol or guajilla chile peppers, substitute dried cayenne
Put on a pair of latex gloves before beginning this recipe. Always wear gloves when working
with hot chile peppers (fresh, dried or roasted chiles). Never touch your eyes when working with chiles. Please don't learn this lesson the hard way!
Roll the arbol chiles between your fingers to
loosen the seeds, then break the chiles in half and shake out as many seeds as
will come out easily. If using grajillos chile peppers, tear them open and sweep
out the seeds with your fingers.
Measure the vegetable oil into a large (10-inch)
skillet and set over medium heat. Lay all the prepared chile peppers in the hot oil. Cook and
turn constantly until the chiles are aromatic and have changed color slightly,
about 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the chile peppers into
a blender jar, leaving behind as much of the oil as possible; set aside.
Wipe out the oil from your skillet (no need to
wash it), and set the skillet back over medium heat. Place the garlic cloves and tomatillos (cut side down)
in the pan. When the tomatillos are browned, turned everything over and brown
the other side. Remove from the heat and place the tomatillos/garlic mixture into
the blender jar with the chile peppers. Add the 1/4 cup water and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to
taste. Blend until nearly smooth.
Pour salsa into a bowl and let cool before serving (best if made 1 day ahead).
Makes 1 cup salsa.