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Essential Sweet and Smoky Chipotle Seasoning Salsa
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    Essential Sweet and Smoky Chipotle Seasoning Salsa

  • 2 1/2 ounces (roughly 2-1/2 small cones) piloncillo(Mexican unrefined sugar)
  • OR:
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar plus 2 teaspoons molasses
  • Vegetable oil to a depth of 1/4 inch, for frying
  • 4 ounces (about 50) dried chipotle chilies (preferably the cranberry red colorados[moritas], not the sandy brown mecos), stemmed
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • salt, about 1/2 teaspoon
  • Method:
    1. Into a medium size (2- to 3- quart) saucepan, measure 1-1/4 cups of water, add the piloncillo (or brown sugar and molasses), bring to a boil, remove from the heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Set a medium-size (8 to 9 inch) skillet of oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add half of the chilies. Stir as they toast to a spicy smelling, mahogany brown, about 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to scoop them out, leaving as much oil as possible behind, then drop them into the sweet water. Treat the remaining chilies the same way. Pour off all but a thin coating of oil in the skillet and return to medium heat. Add the garlic cloves and cook, stirring regularly, until golden, about 4 minutes. Add to the chilies. Pour the chili mixture, water and all, into a blender or food processor, and whir into a smooth puree.

    2. Return the well-oiled skillet to medium-high heat. When hot, add the chili puree all at once. Stir for a minute, scraping up anything that sticks to the bottom of the skillet, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the salsa is as thick as tomato paste. (It will be very spicy smelling and will have darkened to nearly black. If you've left a nice coating of oil in the skillet, it'll be shiny on top when perfectly reduced.) Taste gingerly and season with salt. If you're planning to use the salsa as a condiment on the table for each of your guests to spoon on or stir in, you'll probably want to stir in a little water to give it a more saucy consistency. For use as a seasoning, you can simply scrape it into a glass jar, store in the refrigerator and dole it out a tablespoon or so at a time.
    Makes about 1-1/4 potent cups

    From: Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen, by Rick Bayless
    Posted By:
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