Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Smokey, Spicy & Tangy Hot Salsa

A couple weekends ago I made some delicious hot salsa from Rick Bayless' Mexican Everday.  It was a cinch to make and I ended up using it on everything - quesadillas, scrambled egg tacos, and of course chips.  I love the smokiness of dry roasting the ingredients, the tanginess of the tomatillos, the spiciness of árbol chiles.  You can find the chiles at Fairway, Whole Foods, or a Mexican grocery store.

Ingredients for Toasty Arbol Chile Salsa from Mexican Everyday, makes 1 cup:
-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
-16 (1/4 ounce total) dried árbol chiles, stemmed
-3 garlic cloves, peeled
-4 medium tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and cut in half

To begin, shake out your chile seeds by rolling the chiles between your fingers to loosen the seeds, and then break them in half and shake as many that will come out easily.
Meanwhile, place oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Place chiles in the hot oil, turning constantly until they are aromatic, and changed color slightly, about 30 seconds.  With a slotted spoon, scoop out the chiles, leaving behind as much oil as possible.  Place them in a blender.  Wipe the skillet with a paper towel to remove oil.
On medium-high heat, lay the garlic and tomatillos (cut side down) in the cleaned skillet.  When the tomatillos are well browned, 3 or 4 minutes, turn everything over and brown the other side.
Scoop the browned tomatillos and garlic into the blender jar and add 1/2 cup of water.  Blend until nearly smooth.  Pour salsa into a dish and cool.  If you want it thinner, add more water.  Taste and season with salt.  Enjoy, but be careful - it's hot!

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