The most commonly question I get asked when I share a bowl of salsa is, wait for it! “Is it spicy?” Yes! These salsa recipes for spicy food lovers are on the spicy side! Not by accident, but on purpose and intentional! Lol! I can cook for 8 hours straight, but ask me to prepare a mild salsa and I mess it up every time! True story! But the funny part of this story is that when I do share the mild salsa with friends, it is always the one left behind. Then I look over at the spicy salsa bowl and it’s all gone. Hmmm…That’s ok.
I end up using the mild salsa as a braising liquid or as a fresh tomato sauce for rice. It all works out at the end. These three salsa recipes in particular I like to prepare for specific dishes. For example when I prepare caldo(soup) de res or de pollo(beef and chicken soup). I also like them for pozole blanco or menudo to add an extra kick. And my favorite taco is always one that just has a hint of a really spicy salsa directly on the meat. These types of salsa’s are best served fresh or within a couple of days. The fresh garlic tends to cause the salsa to spoil faster. This may be why my Mom always said that she never added garlic to her salsa recipes. But, I do love garlic! #spicyfoodlover #chileheads #salsa
Chile de Arbol Salsa
30 chile de arbol, stems removed
Juice of 1 lime or 1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 -3/4 cup of water from cooking chiles
2 cloves garlic, sliced
salt to taste
*Variation: You could add 1 to 2 roma tomatoes. Dry roast the tomato on the comal until the skin blackens on most sides. Remove core and skin before blending with chile de arbol. If you want to give the salsa a creamy texture, you could drizzle in some oil while the salsa is blending. You will see it change color and texture as it blends.
Toast the chile de arbol on a preheated comal or griddle pan at medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes. They will become aromatic and begin to blacken quickly, so make sure you stir and flip the chiles as they cook quickly. Transfer to a saucepan of simmering water and cook for 5 minutes. Let sit in water for another 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, transfer the chile de arbol to the blender. Add lime juice, water, garlic and salt to taste. Blend on high for 45-60 seconds.
10 serrano peppers
1/4 white onion
1/3 teaspoon oregano
1 clove garlic, sliced
Salt to taste
Remove the stems from the serrano peppers. Remove husk from tomatillos and rinse them under cool water. Transfer serranos, tomatillos and onion to a sauce pan. Bring to a rapid boil, reduce to just below medium and cook for 7-8 minutes. Remove from pan using a slotted spoon and transfer to the blender. Add the oregano, garlic and salt to taste. Pulse to blend until desired consistency. If it’s too thick, add some of the cooking water that you used to cook the ingredients in.
And last, but not least, one of my most favorite of the spicy salsa’s, Habanero Lime!!
- 10-12 habaneros roasted on a comal or griddle
- 1 large lime
- Salt to taste
- Splash of water
- Drizzle of oil
- Dry roast the habaneros on a preheated comal at medium heat until the skins blister and blacken in most spots. Turn as needed. Remove the stems from the chiles. I processed this salsa in my molcajete, but I would suggest using rubber gloves or process in a mini chopper. stir in the lime juice and just enough water to be able to mix it all together. Drizzle in a little grapeseed or mild olive oil. Season to taste with salt. Be careful of the fumes anytime working with hot peppers, especially habanero.
- Option and Variation: dry roast a few cloves of garlic with the skins on along with the habanero for a nice and mellow roasted garlic flavor!
I am sorry it was too spicy for both. These salsa’s are meant to be used as a garnish, probably not as a dip for chips. No bell peppers or ranch for me though. I don’t doubt it would be tasty, but I grew up on authentic Mexican salsa.