As time goes by I am accumulating more spicy salsa recipes. What’s the difference between a salsa and a hot sauce? Good question! Salsa is the Spanish word for sauce. So technically, I would say that all forms of salsa are a hot sauce. Typically a hot sauce will contain mostly chile peppers with spices and vinegar. Most store bought bottles of hot sauce are fermented, but not all. Nowadays, I see many cooks adding some vinegar to their cooked salsa recipes. Not only to add flavor, but to extend the shelf life of the salsa. I have been doing that for years. I do still prepare the traditional salsa recipes I learned from mom. No vinegar included in them.
Most times I am inspired by ingredients!
On any given day I browse through my refrigerator and pantry and find that I have an excess of chile peppers! Hhhmmm, imagine that! Or I visit the Mexican market and cannot pass up those beautiful red jalapeños or serrano peppers. These are hard to come by. The best way to utilize them is to prepare a spicy salsa/hot sauce that is vinegar based. You could totally skip the vinegar if that is not your thing, but it won’t last as long. Plus, I enjoy the acidity that the vinegar brings. One could always add less vinegar and more water if you want a less acidic notes. Today’s collection of spicy salsa recipes include roasted serrano, roasted habanero and roasted red jalapeño! Let’s get to it!
Do you use the dry roasting method for your salsa recipes?
I am all for the stove top dry roasting method when it comes to preparing some salsa recipes. I can’t be bothered with turning on the broiler, lol! Yes, it may be faster, but I truly believe I can achieve better flavors by doing this low and slow on the stove top. Dry roasting is basically cooking your fresh ingredients on a comal, griddle with no oil. To speed up the process, I sometimes pour in 1 tsp. of oil once the ingredients begin to blacken in some spots.
Are you a chunky, course or smooth salsa?
I love them all! Some people prefer chunky and for some it’s a texture thing and prefer a more smooth salsa. Whether you prefer smoot or chunky, invest in a good blender. I purchased my first power blender about 8-9 years ago and it still works like a charm. You can control the settings to yield a coarse, chunky, smooth and extra smooth salsa. My main point of interest in the power blender was to help me when I prepare mole and dried chile sauces. The straining of these sauces was killing my wrist. With a power blender, no straining required! Worth the investment for me!
Serrano peppers? Or Jalapeños peppers? Both work well in this recipe!
I would not suggest these salsa recipes for chip dipping, lol! But you most certainly can. Best for garnishing your favorite tacos!
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2 medium tomatillos remove husk and wash
- 20 serrano peppers, 240 grams sliced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, 40 grams sliced
- 6-7 cloves of garlic, 30 grams
- 1 oz scallions, just the green bottoms
- 3 oz white vinegar
- 9 oz water
- Salt, to taste
- Preheat a large griddle or skillet to medium heat, After removing the stems from the peppers, slice or roughly chop them. Leave the skins on the cloves of garlic. Slice the tomatillos in half. Transfer them to the preheated cooking surface. After a few minutes, drizzle over the 1 tablespoon of oil. This will speed up the roasting process and add another level of flavor. Remove the garlic and tomatillo after 15 minutes. Leave peppers on for 5 more minutes.
- When ready, transfer peppers to the blender jar. Peel the cloves of garlic, add to blender along with the tomatillos. Add the green onions, vinegar, water and salt to taste. Pulse to blend if you desire a more coarse looking salsa. If you prefer is more smooth, then blend on high for 35-45 seconds.
- Pour salsa into sauce pan and cook at medium heat until it comes up to a boil. Reduce heat to a light simmer. Taste for salt. Cook for another 7-8 minutes. Let cool, then store in glass jar with a tight lid, refrigerated. The salsa will last for at least 6 months refrigerated.
Roasted Habanero! My Favorite!
Many people find habanero peppers to be a bit intimidating. I absolutely love them! Once combined with a few other ingredients, I enjoy garnishing my favorite tacos! It’s definitely not a chip and dip salsa because a little goes a long way. Habaneros pair well with fruits like pineapple, mango and peach. Delicious! On the bottom left is the habanero salsa. Above that is my spicy Caldillo Recipe, On top is another one of my favorites, chiltomate salsa!
I blame my dad for my love of spicy salsa!
Many of you that have followed me for a few years know the story on how I learned to prepare salsa. My parents, Ramiro and Blanca, owned a small Mexican restaurant in the early 80’s called Blanca’s Mexican Food. On the weekends, I would go with dad at five in the morning to prepare the salsa for the day. A simple and fresh pico de gallo and tomatillo avocado salsa is what I would prepare. Later I started preparing a few cooked salsas like salsa verde and salsa de mesa. Basic recipes that should be on every Mexican table when serving tacos! That’s just my opinion.
Roasted Habanero Salsa
- Griddle, skillet or comal
- 12 large Habanero peppers remove the stems
- 4-6 large cloves of garlic
- 1/4 section small white onion
- 1 medium carrot peeled, sliced
- 3 oz white Vinegar
- 6 oz Water
- At medium heat, place habaneros, garlic and section of white onion on a griddle or in a skillet.
- Transfer carrot to a glass bowl and cover with water. Microwave on high for 6 minutes. Set aside.
- Once the ingredients on the griddle begin to roast and slightly blacken in some spots, drizzle 1 teaspoon of oil over them. Toss to coat evenly. Cook for another 6-8 minutes. Remove skins from garlic and also remove stems from habaneros.
- In the blender jar, combine the habaneros, garlic, onion, carrot, vinegar and water. Season with salt, to taste, Pulse to blend until you have a slightly coarse consistency. If you prefer it smoother, blend on high for 30-40 seconds. Transfer to a sauce pan. Cook at medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Cool at room temperature and then store in glass jars refrigerated for several months.
- 10 large Red Jalapeños
- 10-12 Cloves of Garlic
- 1 tsp avocado oil
- 1 c Vinegar
- 1 c Water
- Salt, to taste
- After washing and removing the stems from the jalapeños place them in a skillet at medium heat. After about 5 minutes, add the garlic and 1 tsp of oil. Quickly saute ingredients, stirring so garlic doesn't burn. You want to achieve some blackening on the peppers and garlic.
- When ready, transfer ingredients from skillet to the blender. Pour in vinegar and water. Season, to taste with salt. Pulse to blend until mostly smooth.
- Pour into a sauce pan and heat to medium. Cook the hot sauce for 10 minutes. Let cool and transfer to glass jars or bottle with a tight lid. Store refrigerated for 3 months.