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. 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…
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
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.
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!
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.
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!