To be honest with you, I cannot remember what I did before I begin cooking with dried chile peppers. These days, I cannot be without them or I begin to panic, lol! Lucky for me, they are readily available online and if I am real lucky, one of the local markets carry some. The two peppers used most often in our house were chile ancho and chile de arbol. Now and them, Mom would use the chile California for when she prepared Carne Con Chile Rojo(beef red chile). Because of the overwhelming response I have had for this recipe of salsa macha, I decided to create a blog post featuring the salsa on it’s own. It is essentially a salsa prepared by frying the chiles and blending them with oil. It is similar to an Asian chile oil that you see in the markets. Different flavor profile though. It is a salsa made popular in Vercruz, Mexico where they like to use the smoky chile morita variety of peppers. For today’s post, I share with you two variations of salsa macha. As you read the recipe, I know it will seem like a large amount of chiles that I add to the recipe. I would not say this is a salsa to serve to your friends with chips. This is more like a salsa that you want garnishing those TASTY carne asada tacos after you have added the more mild salsa. And not only for tacos, I use this salsa macha recipe to mix into marinades, vinaigrettes, soups and stews. it will last for a very long time in the coldest part of your refrigerator and freezes forever! #welovespicy #chileheads #foodieforlife
- 1/2 cup grapeseed or olive oil
- 1/4 pound chile de arbol stems removed (2 cups)
- 5 chile Guajillo stems and seeds removed
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- Salt to taste
- More oil if needed
- In a pan, combine the 1/2 cup oil, chile de arbol, guajillo peppers and garlic. You can fry the ingredients separate, if you like.
- 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 too dark or they will be bitter. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Transfer chile/oil mixture to the blender, add vinegar and salt to taste. Pulse to blend, adding more oil if it's too thick. Taste for salt. Yields about 2 cups.
Note: The vinegar is not traditional in salsa macha, but I like the acid note it brings to the recipe. Also traditional to add is fried sesame seeds and some peanuts. I did not have either on this day. The guajillo I added were to yield a slightly more mild version. They are also optional. Chef's choice!
Chile de arbol and chile japones have very similar flavor profiles, so you could use either in this recipe.
If you have not noticed, I have slowly switched over to using grapeseed in most of my recipes. I prefer it over canola oil when I need a mild oil or oil with no flavor. Plus it’s a natural oil, where the canola oil is not. Don’t quote me on that, but that’s what i have read. The olive oil is good, but sometimes has slight bitter note when using it in this type of recipe.
Here is a variation on a Salsa macha recipe that I prepared in the molcajete. I will often mix in some chile morita, chipotle or piquin for a smoky finish on the salsa.
20 chile de arbol
6 chile morita
1 full tablespoon chile piquin
6 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 to 3/4 cup grapeseed 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 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.