Red Chile New Mexico Salsa! In my years of cooking with dried chiles, I have come to learn some of the differences. I truly love them all and choose certain varieties depending of what flavor profile I want in the end. Dried chile New Mexico can range from mild to extra hot! When I am looking for an intense pepper flavor, I tend to reach for chile California of chile New Mexico. The dried chile guajillo is mild with subtle flavors compared to these two.
Give your dried chile salsa recipes some body and texture!
If you are looking for a straight red chile salsa, you can bypass adding too many other ingredients. But, I don’t find the salsa to be that interesting, unless you are adding spices to prepare an enchilada style sauce. Adding fresh chile peppers like serrano, jalapeño or even chile guero is going to add another level of heat and flavor. And if you adding those in, then you will need garlic and onion too! Tomatillos, roasted, are delicious, but in this case I don’t find it necessary to roast them. I am adding a ton of flavor by roasting the aromatics, fresh chiles and the dried chiles in this recipe.
Are you still on the fence when it comes to red or green salsa?
I have given up on that idea and always have red and green available in my refrigerator for my favorite Mexican recipes. A quick and delicious salsa cruda or tomatillo avocado salsa, uncooked versions, come together quickly. Red chile New Mexico salsa pairs well with the flavors of those fresh green salsa recipes. The salsa cruda(raw salsa) recipe shown in the picture has only half of a medium avocado just to add a touch of creaminess. It’s mostly all tomatillo, chile serrano, onion, garlic, cilantro, lime and salt. Oh, with a little cold water too! Follow the recipe for the salsa cruda and add just a little avocado and blend it smooth! That will yield that bright green salsa.
Every time I prepare a new salsa variation it becomes my favorite!
I tend to get hooked on new salsa variations and will prepare them quite often. This one in particular for it’s bright red colors with specs of roasted ingredients and tanginess! It’s delicious on all kinds of tacos and would make some killer red chile tamales! That recipe may happen soon since I have a big bag od chile New Mexico. Or imagine roasted hatch green chile with cheese and this salsa inside a tamal or taco? Delicious!
What if you wanted to use tomatoes instead of tomatillo?
You could absolutely use Roma tomatoes instead and still enjoy a tasty red salsa. In my opinion, the tomatillos add acidity and a smoother look, almost glossy, to the salsa. Tomatoes would add some sweetness and unless you peel the skins off, yield a salsa with a slight coarse finish. Unless you have a power blender, then watch out! Lol!
How long do I cook my tomatillos?
I get this question quite often. A tomatillo chile de arbol salsa is a recipe that mom would prepare often when I was growing up. Visions of a pot of tomatillos with chile serrano, chile de arbol and onion rapidly boiling was typically what happened. The salsa was always delicious and it’s still a family favorite. Since then I have adapted my own way of preparing that same salsa. Some of my followers have complained that their tomatillo salsa recipe comes out sour or bitter. Tomatillos are very acidic and I find myself adding more salt to balance out the flavors. The myth or theory is that if the tomatillos burst open while simmering or boiling, that this could yield a bitter salsa. I have never experience that, to be honest. I only cook my tomatillos until they turn from bright green to olive green in color.
Let’s get to the recipe!
How many combinations of salsa do you think there are? It’s endless really! I am having fun trying to create all of them though, ha, ha, ha! If I took a picture right now of the jars of homemade salsa in my refrigerator, you would see at least 6 jars of salsa and some nopalitos en escabeche. A girl has to have choice, lol!
Blending the dried chiles first will break down the chiles better than if you throw everything in at the same time. That has been my experience anyway.
The vitamix blender jar does not absorb any odors or take on any of the red colors from the dried chiles. It’s been the best investment!
I have two obsessions! Mexican bowls and wooden spoons!
I do get a lot of questions about canning the homemade salsa recipes. I have not made time to learn more about it, but it’s something I am definitely interested in. Some of my followers have told me that they can several of my recipes and that they enjoy it!
Red Chile New Mexico Salsa
- 2 tsps avocado oil
- 165 gr serrano peppers, about 10 peppers
- 108 gr white onion, 1/2 med. onion
- 21 gr cloves of garlic, 6 large cloves
- 41 gr Dried chile New Mexico, 9 peppers
- 1.2 lbs Tomatillos
- Salt, to taste
- In a pot, start by heating 5 cups of water at medium.
- Line a griddle or skillet with foil paper and heat to medium. Add the serrano peppers, onion and garlic. Drizzle with oil and toss to coat evenly.
- Add the washed tomatillos to a pot of water that is heating. Let the tomatillos cook just until they turn from bright green to an olive green color. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes.
- Toss and turn the ingredients on the griddle as needed, removing the garlic after 8-9 minutes. The chile peppers should blacken in some spots and the skins should looked blistered. The onions should have some caramelization and a little charring.
- On that same griddle that is hot, add the dried chile New Mexico. This is a fast process! Toss chiles with tongs quickly to rotate them around. You should see some blackened spots and the peppers will become aromatic and turn from soft to brittle.
- Transfer toasted chiles to the blender. Pour in 2 cups of the hot cooking water from the tomatillos into the blender. Let it for 1 minute. Then cover blender jar and blend on the highest speed for 1 minute or more or until you have a smooth red salsa. If you still see large chile flakes, blend again or strain through a wire strainer. If not, add the rest of the ingredients, serranos, onion, garlic and drained tomatillos. Season with salt, to taste and blend on med/high until you reach the desired consistency.
- Pour salsa into a sauce pan and heat to medium. Cook at a gentle simmer for 10 minutes. Taste for salt. Let cool, then transfer to glass jars. Store refrigerated for 14-16 days. If you want to extend the life of the refrigerator salsa, you could mix in 2-3 tablespoons of white vinegar to the salsa as it simmers after you blend it.