So, we have already discussed how salsas can be diverse. Here’s a salsa that will require you to possibly work with dry chile peppers for the first time. A simple chipotle chile sauce (don’t reach for the canned chipotle in adobo sauce on the grocery shelf!) that pairs well with chicken, shrimp, turkey or with chips.
- 3 dried chipotle chiles (Latin and Mexican grocery stores will most likely have these)
- 3-4 Roma tomatoes
- 1/2 of a small white onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- a drizzle of vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup of water (chicken or vegetable stock is also appropriate)
- salt to taste
- Heat a griddle or skillet and place the chiles, tomatoes, onion and garlic on top. Turn the ingredients frequently and be careful NOT to burn the chiles. After the chipotles begin to emit a stronger smell and the skin is pliable, place them in a bowl of hot water to soak. Soak for about 10 minutes.
- Continue to roast the tomatoes, garlic and onion. It is fine that they have black, burnt spots. This will add to the smoky flavor. If you want less of a smoky flavor, you may want to remove the charred tomato skin and not allow the garlic and onion to burn.
- Remove the seeds from the tomatoes and cut the chipotles open and remove seeds and veins, but do NOT discard them.
- Blend all the ingredients in a blender. Chile skin is tough, so it may take a minute or two. Taste and if it does not have enough heat, add some of the chile veins and seeds. (Note: The majority of the heat of chiles comes from the seeds and veins.)
- This sauce is ready to eat as is. You may also cook the salsa further in a pan to enrich the flavor. This is recommended if it is going to be used to top chicken or turkey.
Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly as the oils may burn your skin. Take caution not to touch your eyes or nose when there is still chile on your hands. ¡Buen provecho! Let us know if you try it and if you like it!