What do you think of when you here chile de arbol salsa? I think, red hot spicy goodness! No doubt that I am a chilehead and I enjoy a spicy salsa. Not spicy, then it taste bland to me, lol!
Not Into Spicy Foods, But Love Salsa?
No problem! That is an easy fix. Double up on the tomatoes and cut way back on the chile peppers. Add one chile de arbol per tomato and eliminate the serrano peppers. To add pepper flavor without the heat, sneak in one large dried guajillo pepper. Follow the instructions for cooking and continue with the recipe.
I See Barbacoa Or Steak Tacos!
This tomato chile de arbol salsa pairs well with beef! Beef Barbacoa, shredded beef, grilled beef, beef hamburgers and more! Not saying you can use it on other kinds of tacos, but I favor it with beef.
Corn Tortillas or Flour?
More than likely you would see me choosing a homemade corn tortilla for most of my tacos. On this day I was enjoying these tasty(taste like homemade) flour tortillas from my friends over at El Comal from California. I collaborated on a few projects with them in the past and really got hooked the their flour tortillas and totopos(chips). This is not a sponsored post, but I believe in the product.
The Smaller The Pepper, The Bigger The Bite!
Typically the bigger dried chiles, like guajillo, ancho and California are mild to medium as far as spiciness goes. The smaller the peppers get, the hotter they get. Dried chiles, like cascabel, costeño and puya tend to be at medium heat and medium in size too. Then comes chile de arbol, japones, morita, chipotle, piquin and chiltepin. In my experience, the small round chiltepin has been the hottest I have used in my cooking. There are more chile varieties available in Mexico than in the states.
What Are My Favorite Tomatoes For Salsa?
Roma or plum tomatoes are my favorite to use for red salsa varieties. But, you can also use tomatillos to prepare several variations of red salsa. Nothing bad is going to happen if you use vine ripe or even hearty beefsteak tomatoes if that’s all there is. Heck, you can even use grape or cherry tomatoes when needed. I have used all those varieties to prepare salsa in the past.
Ready To Prepare Some Salsa?
Once you get the hang of the different methods and variations, you will start creating your own salsa recipes! You will understand why I take those extra few steps when preparing my salsa. I am the one who is going to eat it, so I want it to taste the best that it can be. This is why restaurant salsa is just not good enough anymore, lol! I must confess that I judges a restaurant by the salsa they bring to the table. I do! This is the results of preparing homemade salsa for over 30 years.
Tomato Chile De Arbol Salsa
- Comal or griddle pan
- 12-14 dried chile de arbol
- 1-2 Serrano chile peppers
- 2 large cloves of garlic with skins on
- 1 tsp avocado or vegetable oil
- 2 large roma tomatoes
- 1/2- 3/4 cup cooking water from tomatoes
- Salt to taste
- Transfer the chile de arbol, serrano peppers and garlic(with skins on) to your comal(griddle). Heat to right below medium.
- After a minute, drizzle 1 tsp of oil onto salsa ingredients on the comal. At the same time, cut the core out of the tomatoes. Place them in a glass bowl and cover halfway with water. Cook in the microwave for 7 minutes. Let them sit in microwave until you are ready to use them. Or you can gentle drop tomatoes in simmering water and cook until skins pull away.
- After a few minutes the ingredients on the comal should start to become aromatic and sizzle a little. Toss them gently as needed until the dried chile de arbol begin to blacken in spots. If it's smoking, the heat is too high! Lol! Coughing may begin!! Ha, ha!
- Remove the dried chiles once you see some blackening. The serranos exterior skin should blister and blacken in spots. Do not leave the garlic past 15 minutes. Remove stems from chiles and skins from garlic cloves.
- Transfer chiles and garlic to the blender. Remove the tomatoes from the microwave. Transfer tomatoes to blender. Pour in 1/2-3/4 cup of the cooking water from tomatoes into the blender. Season, to taste with salt. Blend on high until very smooth. Taste for salt. Pour the blended salsa into a medium pot. Bring up to a simmer and cook for 7 minutes. Serve the salsa warm or cool completely and store in a glass jar refrigerated for 7-8 days.