Tag Archives: Salsa Macha

Chips & Salsa~More Salsa Recipes

salsa de mesa-tres chiles
salsa de mesa-tres chiles
If you like to cook like I do, one never tires of trying different variations on staple recipes. I am in the habit of cooking with whatever ingredients I may have on hand that particular day. For example, when preparing a salsa recipe, there are days when I have an excess of fresh chile peppers and I enjoy mixing the different flavors and colors. On  the days when there are no fresh chiles, the dried varieties make for some delicious salsa as well. Here are a few more variations on some of my favorite salsa recipes, included a new fresh salsa inspired by Bolivia. Don’t forget the chips!
This first recipe is a variation on a traditional table salsa or “salsa de mesa”. Not so traditional is cooking it in the microwave, but it really works! I actually learned this from my tia Minerva(mom’ younger sister) while I was visiting Monterrey.

Salsa de Mesa~Tres Chiles

2 large roma tomatoes, quartered
1 serrano, chopped
1 jalapeño, chopped
1 red  fresno, chopped(if you cannot find fresno, try adding a 2 red hot cherry peppers)
1 clove garlic
1/4 white onion, chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
pinch of pepper
pinch of oregano
Salt to taste

1. Place all the fresh tomato, peppers, onion and garlic in a glass bowl. Cover with paper towel and microwave on high for 6 to 7 minutes or until tomatoes are cooked and soft. You could also cook the ingredients in simmering water on the stove top which is the more traditional way.

2. Transfer to the blender.  When processing hot ingredients in the blender, always, always secure the lid and hold down using a thick kitchen towel.  Add remaining ingredients and pulse to chop. Taste for salt. Transfer to serving dish and let sit for 20 minutes.

Variation: For a chunky “Salsa de Mesa”, pulse just the tomatoes in a mini chopper and transfer to a bowl. Add remaining peppers and onion to mini chopper and pulse to chop. You could also chop by hand if you like. Mix in the remaining ingredients. Taste for salt.
Fresh and Spicy Bolivian Salsa
Fresh and Spicy Bolivian Salsa

A Fresh and Spicy Salsa~Bolivian Inspired

4 roma tomatoes, chopped
2 teaspoons locoto sauce(a Bolivian chile sauce)
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1 green onion, sliced
1 tablespoon cilantro
Salt to taste

Add the tomatoes and locoto sauce to the mini chopper. Pulse blend until desired consistency. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse a few more times. Taste for salt.

Tips~ I suggest you chop everything ahead because it gives you a more uniform salsa without any big chunks left behind. I like the green onions instead of the white onion, for a more subtle onion flavor.
Tips~ To replace the locoto chile sauce, add 1 large jalapeño or 2 serranos(diced). Removing the seeds is up to you. The locoto sauce is on the spicy side the way we like it. 
Salsa Macha-Chile Morita, Chile Piquin y Chile de Arbol
Salsa Macha-Chile Morita, Chile Piquin y Chile de Arbol

Salsa Macha

20 chile de arbol
6 chile morita
1 full tablespoon chile piquin
6 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 to 3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tablespoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt. More to taste.
2 tablespoons white vinegar, optional

1. Combine the dried chiles(stems removed) with garlic and olive oil in a saucepan. Heat to medium. When it comes to a rapid simmer, reduce to medium/low and continue cooking, stirring often, for 3 to 5 minutes. The larger chile morita should puff up and other chiles should darken a little. Garlic should look golden.

2. Strain the peppers and garlic, reserving all of the oil. Transfer to the molcajete, add salt and crush until broken down pretty fine. If the larger peppers are hard to break down, they did not get toasted enough. That’s ok, just chop them really well with a knife. Add all of the reserved oil to the molcajete. Stir in the vinegar if using and taste for salt.

Tips~ You could also process or blend all of the ingredients in a blender. The oil and peppers will turn a slight orange color when blended.

chile de arbol salsa
chile de arbol salsa

Chile de Arbol Salsa

2 chile california, stem and seeds removed
20 chile de arbol, only remove stems if they have a stem
2 large cloves garlic, skins on
2 roma tomatoes, sliced in half(vertical)

Juice of 2 key limes, 1/4 cup reserved cooking water, salt to taste


On a preheated(medium heat) comal or pan, toast the dried chiles for about 1 to 2 minutes, turning as needed. Don’t let them burn or they can taste bitter. Place chiles in  a saucepan of simmering water and cook for 10 minutes. At the same time, char the tomatoes and garlic for 15 minutes. Place  tomatoes, garlic(skins removed), dried chiles, 1/4 cup cooking water, lime juice and salt into blender. Blend on high until smooth. Taste for salt.

Salsa Verde Molcajeteada
Salsa Verde Molcajeteada

Salsa Verde Molcajeteada

4 to 5 tomatillos
3 serranos
1 jalapeno
3-4 cloves garlic
1/3 white onion
Salt to taste
Crushed chile piquin and chopped cilantro, optional

1. Char all of the ingredients on a preheated(medium) comal or pan. This should take about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the garlic after 15 minutes.

2. Remove stems from chiles. Roughly chop the serrano and jalapenos, set aside. Slice tomatillos in half. Dice the onions and set aside.

3. Remove skins from garlic. Place garlic in the molcajete and add 1/2 teaspoon of salt. The salt will help grind it down more easily, plus add seasoning to your salsa. Little by little add the chopped chiles and grind down. Then add the tomatillos and continue grinding down and mixing at the same time. Fold in the diced onions and season with salt. Garnish with crushed chile piquin and cilantro, if desired. Yields about 1 1/2 cups.

Salsa Verde Molcajeteada
For even more salsa recipes and how to prepare homemade corn tortilla chips, click onto the picture below! 
Homemade Chips and Salsa Recipes


Dried Chiles Part Two ~Salsa, Hot Sauce, Sauce

Just when you think you have prepared every salsa or hot sauce recipe possible, someone will tag you in a picture with a salsa that you just have to try. One day last week, my friend Donna shared a picture of a salsa she was enjoying at her local Mexican eatery.  She asked if I had ever seen or prepared something similar. As far as I could see, it looked like a tomato based salsa, but was not thick, but more like a hot sauce with specs of toasted chiles. I had a rough idea and off I went into my kitchen. As I have talked about before, tomatoes and dried chile peppers are staples in my kitchen.  So, I share with you a few more recipes using dried chile peppers. You never know when you might be challenged to a salsa throwdown! Ha, ha, ha!! Bring it Bobby! Just kidding….but, not really.  This was my best guess at the taqueria salsa. 

Toasted Chile de Arbol Tomato Salsa/Hot Sauce.

My New Favorite Salsa!!! Until the next one comes along…

Toasted Chile de Arbol and Tomato Salsa

Inspired by my friend Donna!


1 large vine ripe tomato, chopped
10 chile de arbol, toasted
1 cup water
salt to taste
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
Juice of 1/2 a  lime juice or  1 tablespoon white vinegar, optional
1 teaspoon crushed chile piquin or  toasted chile de arbol

Toasted Chile de Arbol

Tips~Simply place the dried chile de arbol in a dry skillet at medium heat. Toast for a few minutes, turning as needed. Do not let them get too dark or they can become bitter tasting.

Toasted Chile de Arbol Tomato Salsa

Tips~I typically only purchase Roma tomatoes for my everyday cooking, but the store was out! Lol! So, I picked up some vine ripe tomatoes. Delicious!

Toasted Chile de Arbol Tomato Salsa

This is the salsa/hot sauce soon after I blended it and strained it into the bowl.


1. To the blender, add the chopped tomato, 1 cup water, toasted chile de arbol (stems removed) and salt to taste. Blend on high until smooth. You want the chiles to really break down as small as possible.

2. Strain salsa using a fine wire mesh strainer into a sauce pan. Transfer salsa/hot sauce to a sauce pan. Bring up to a simmer. Whisk the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water until smooth. Mix this into the simmering salsa. Reduce heat and cook for a few more minutes. If using any lime or vinegar, add it while salsa is cooking. Taste for salt. Add crushed chile piquin or more toasted chile de arbol.

Toasted Chile de Arbol Tomato Salsa

Here is the salsa/hot sauce as it cooks. The color deepens. The cornstarch slurry thickens it sligtly and also keeps it from separating. I really enjoyed the tangy tomato flavor. It reminded me of these spicy ketchup potato chips I used to purchase in Mexico, tasty!

Toasted Chile de Arbol Tomato Salsa/Hot Sauce

Even more recipes using dried chile peppers….


The green and red chile oil recipes that follow were inspired by ingredients that I had been sitting on for a while and decided it was time to use them up. A great way to preserve dried or fresh chiles is by cooking them. But only with the added vinegar will they be able to have a longer and more stable shelf life. Don’t be afraid to mix in a few fresh chile peppers, if the dried version is not available. 


Salsas Machas! Green and Red Chile Oil and Adobo

Green and Red Chile Oil/AdoboThe dried jalapeño are more available these days, but if you cannot find them, use fresh. Both fresh jalapeño and serrano would work well for this recipe. The heat levels may vary when using fresh. 
Dried Jalapeño FlakesI keep the dried chile flakes stored in the refrigerator. Once cooked in the oil after a few days the flavors intesify.

Dried Red Pepper Flakes

*I had this package of chile quebrado or crushed chile that I wanted to use up, but normally I would use whole dried chiles in my recipes.

1 cup of oil, plus 1/2 cup separate (I used half olive oil and half grapeseed oil)
1 1/2 cups crushed dried chiles (jalapeño, chile de arbol, chile japones or crushed red pepper flakes)
10 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
3/4 cup cider vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
Salt to taste


1. Steep dried chiles, garlic and spices in 1 cup of oil on low for 20 minutes.  Do not let it boil. Add vinegar and salt and steep for 5 more minutes.

2. Transfer to blender, add remaining oil and pulse to blend until desired finish.  I pulsed mine 5 to 6 times, but you could blend on high for a more imulsified finish. That’s up to you. Taste for salt. Let cool at room temperature.

3. Once cooled, store in airtight container in the refrigerator or you can freeze. Yields about 3 cups. For better flavor, I would suggest letting the chile oil/adobo sit for a couple of days before using.  The colors of the oil will darken and become less cloudy with time. It can be used as is for a spicy salsa, for marinating, spicy vinaigrette or any of your favorite recipes that you want to add a little or alot of heat to. 

Variations or Add Ins:
Fresh cilantro
fresh parsley
Fresh chile serrano or red fresno

*I will be posting some New Recipes in the next couple of weeks showing you my favorite ways to incorporate the chile oil/adobo into your recipes.

Dried Chile Jalapeño Oil/Adobo

Just for the heck of it, I threw in a couple of the red chile de arbol.

Chile Jalapeño OIl/Adobo


Dried Red Chile Oil/Adobo

I did not quite have 1 1/2 cups of the crushed chile, so I added some chile de arbol to make the full 1 1/2 cups.

Red Chile Oil/Adobo

Red Chile Oil/Adobo


Chile Jalapeño Oil/Adobo

Dried Chiles~ Staples of a Mexican Kitchen

For as far back as I can remember, there were a few”must have” staples  in my Mom’s kitchen. Tomatoes, fresh chiles, onions, cilantro and a variety of dried chile peppers. What, no garlic? People are surprised when I tell them how fresh garlic was not used in my mom’s everyday cooking  as they had imagined. The fresh garlic was reserved for cooking frijoles or caldos (soups). I always assumed that it was because she was too busy raising eight kids, she did not have time to mince garlic, lol! Of course there was always that jar of garlic powder in the cupboard for guisados and rice. Since those days, I have learned to cook with fresh garlic and lots of it. One thing that was a constant was that storage container with half torn plastic bags of dried chile peppers, such as chile ancho and chile de arbol. The chile ancho was must for tamales, chile colorado and costillas de puerco. And with tamales, came the salsa de tomatillo, prepared spicy with the added chile de arbol.  For this blog post today, I want to share some pictures of the dried chiles I keep in my kitchen. Besides the few dishes I mentioned above, you can prepare a variety of sauces and salsa’s using the dried chiles. For the first entry, I prepared a spicy salsa recipe that was inspired and adapted from a bottle of hot sauce from my favorite Mexican chef Rick Bayless. It’s a Toasted Chile Salsa, which also includes toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and ajonjoli (sesame seeds). I have prepared many dried chile recipes and will add a few new ones to this post every month.

Dried chiles can be used in everyday dishes to add a little heat and rich red colors!
Dried chiles can be used in everyday dishes to add a little heat and rich red colors!


Toasted Chile Salsa

1/4 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/4 cup ajonjoli (sesame seeds)
24 chile de arbol, stems removed
2 chile guajillo
1/2 tablespoon Mexican oregano
2 cloves garlic, smashed
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1 key lime
salt to taste


Toasted Chile Salsa with pumpkin, sesame seeds, oregano
Toasted Chile Salsa with pumpkin, sesame seeds, oregano


1. Preheat a comal or griddle pan to medium/low heat for 5 minutes. Add all the chiles, pepitas and ajonjoli to the comal or griddle. When toasting chiles, seeds or nuts, you should never leave unattended because they can burn easily. Toast them for about 5 to 7 minutes, turning as needed. 

2. When the peppers become aromatic and blacken in some spots, they are ready. the sesame seeds and pepitas will also turn slightly brown in color.If you let any of them go too long, they will taste bitter. Before removing ingredients from comal, add the oregano for a minute. 

3. Transfer all of the ingredients to the blender. Add all of the remaining ingredients listed. Blend on high until smooth. You will have to psh ingredients down with a spatula a couple of times to make sure it all blends well. Taste for salt. If you want to thin out the salsa a little more, just add a little more water.

Dried chiles, herbs,nuts and seeds are all essential to an authentic Mexican kitchen.
Dried chiles, herbs,nuts and seeds are all essential to an authentic Mexican kitchen.


Salsa Ranchera Estilo La Costeña. I remember going home to L.A. and trips to the Giant Dollar store. Mom would purchase at least 10 jars of La Costeña brand Salsa Ranchera. Not many store bought brands she liked, but this one was delicious! This is my version of the Salsa Ranchera but with chile de arbol instead of jalapeños.

Salsa Ranchera

6 tomatillos, peeled and washed
4 chile ancho
12 to 24 chile de arbol depending on your heat level.
4 cloves garlic
1/4 of a white onion
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt to taste

*If using the fresh jalapeño, I would start with at least  4 to 5

Salsa Ranchera

Tips~For my version of this salsa, I prefer to use chile de arbol. I believe the bottled version they use jalapeños.

Salsa RancheraNot the best time for foods photos, in the evening…


1. Remove the stems and seeds from the chile ancho and just the stems from chile de arbol.

2. Add all of the ingredients, minus the oregano, cumin and salt, to a pot. Cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep for 20 minutes.

3. Drain the water and transfer to the blender. Add the oregano, cumin and salt to taste. Blend on high until smooth.

Salsa Ranchera

Chile de Arbol
Chile de Arbol is my favorite, go to pepper for many of my salsa recipes. It pairs well with tomatillos!

2Salsa Ranchera


Toasted Chile de Arbol Hot Sauce, a variation that is prepared with   mostly vinegar and water. I learned how to prepare an Asian style chile sauce a few years back and this is the same method I used to prepare this recipe. I did not add any sugar, but you most certainly can if you like it sweet and spicy. Besides just enjoying it as a hot sauce, I use this as a base for a spicy marinade on seafood or chicken with a little added oil , citrus and more garlic.

Chile de Arbol Hot Sauce. The vinegar will preserve this chile sauce for a few months.
Chile de Arbol Hot Sauce. The vinegar will preserve this chile sauce for a few months. The charred tomatillos gives this hot sauce a nice finish.

1/4 pound of Chile de arbol
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 cups water
2 cups white vinegar
4 roasted tomatillos (I char them on the stove top in a little oil)
1 tablespoon sugar
Salt to taste…I used about 5 teaspoons
3 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons water to make a slurry

1. Toast the chile de arbol in a skillet and medium/low heat for a few minutes. Turn it often so it does not burn. You will have some dark spots and it will become aromatic. Remove from heat and transfer to the blender.

2. Add all of the remaining ingredients to the blender, minus the cornstarch slurry. Blend on high until mostly smooth.

3. Transfer hot sauce to saucepan and heat to medium. As soon as it comes to a low simmer, whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Stir well to combine and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Taste for salt. Let cool completely at room temperature before storing in an airtight container. It will keep in refrigerator for a few months.

Toasting the chile de arbol adds a nice smoky flavor. They toast quickly. I remove them from the heat as soon as they become aromatic.
Toasting the chile de arbol adds a nice smoky flavor. They toast quickly. I remove them from the heat as soon as they become aromatic.


Salsa Macha~Salsa de Aceite Estilo las Carretas~ Oil Based Chile de Arbol Salsa

I have prepared this style of salsa before many times, but really did not know the true name for it, lol! The other day while browsing through youtube, I came across a food video in Spanish and there it was! I like to add some vinegar to mine for that hint of acid that I love so much.

Salsa de Aceite-Chile Oil-Estilo la Carretas

1/2 cup oil, I used an olive oil and  canola blend, plus 1/4 cup separate

1/4 pound chile de arbol, stems removed

5 chile New Mexico or guajillos, stems and seeds removed
6 cloves garlic
1/3 cup cider vinegar, or more to taste
Salt to taste
*more oil if needed

Chile de Arbol and Garlic steeped in oil for salsa
Chile de Arbol and Garlic steeped in oil for salsa

1. In a pan, combine the 1/2 cup oil, chile de arbol, new mexico peppers and garlic. Bring up to temperature at medium heat. When the peppers become aromatic, lower heat and stir often. You want the peppers to become bright red and slightly soft. Do not let them get dark or they will be bitter. Remove from heat and let cool.

2. Transfer chile/oil mixture to the blender, add vinegar, another 1/4 cup oil and salt to taste. Pulse to blend, adding more oil if it’s too thick. Yields about 2 cups.

Salsa de Aceite Estilos las Carretas
Salsa de Aceite Estilos las Carretas


Chile Japones
Chile Japones is very similar to chile de arbol, a good substitute when chile de arbol is not available


Chile Pequin
Chile Pequin is one of my favorites, hard to find, spicy, adds great flavor and heat!


Chile Ancho
Chile Ancho is the pepper commonly found in most dark chili powders, mild most of the time.


Chiles New Mexico, California and Guajillos are very similar
Chiles New Mexico, California and Guajillos are very similar and mild, but add a great vibrant red color


Chile Pasilla tends to be one of the darkest in color
Chile Pasilla tends to be one of the darkest in color.


Chile Chipotle adds some good heat and smoky flavors to your recipes
Chile Chipotle adds some good heat and smoky flavors to your recipes