The burnt salsa (salsa quemada)
The roasted tomato Mexican salsa (Salsa Quemada) is characterized by a pleasant smoky or “burnt” taste because of the roasted tomatoes and chilies. It is used as a side to other dishes in Mexican cuisine such as tacos, nachos and enchiladas or you can serve it with fried tortillas (totopos); serve as an appetizer, perhaps with other Mexican sauces such as guacamole or any other basic Mexican “salsa.”
Mexican recipe for Salsa Quemada
Ingredients for 4 guests:
* 5 ripe whole large red tomatoes that are perfect, without cuts or bruises (it is important to pick nice ones)
* 1 or 2 red chili pepper (arból, cherry pepper, cayenne pepper or serrano; the only thing that matters is that they be colored red)
* 3 cloves of garlic with the skin still on, for roasting
* 1/2 white onion, chopped
* 1 small bunch of fresh cilantro
* 1 tablespoon lime juice
* 1 tsp. salt, to taste
1) First we make sure that the kitchen is properly ventilated, because the roasting from this recipe will produce a lot of cooking odors and a little bit of smoke.
2) Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line the bottom of a shallow roasting pan with aluminum foil and arrange the whole tomatoes, the garlic and chilies in the pan; roast on all sides without adding anything more (dry-roast), until they are completely charred and soft. Take out the garlic first, then the small chili and lastly the tomatoes as the tomatoes are the ones that will take the whole 10 minutes to roast, while the garlic and the chili need a lot less time to char.
3) Peel the garlic, and clean the chili. Put garlic, chili, tomatoes, onion bits, lime juice, salt and coriander in the bowl of your blender or food processor and blend, pulsing until the sauce is liquid and smooth. Check seasoning and adjust to your taste.
This delicious salsa will keep for a few days in the refrigerator. Check and adjust seasoning before serving.
The Salsa Borracha from Monterrey
The salsa borracha Monterrey style is a red salsa with hot peppers that is used to garnish tacos, nachos or grilled meat or Mexican barbacoas. This salsa is called “borracha” because it uses an alcoholic beverage; it initially used pulque but as this beverage but since pulque is very hard to find outside Mexico, beer is used now with excellent results. This authentic Mexican recipe for salsa from the Monterrey state is also often served with grilled or barbecued meat, whether beef, lamb or goat.
How do we prepare the Salsa Borracha from Monterrey?
* 2 ripe red tomatoes
* 9 serrano peppers (stems cut off)
* 2 guajillo chilies
* 1 medium white onion
* 1 bunch fresh cilantro
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 amber type beer
* 2 cloves garlic
* Salt, cumin
1) Put the guajillo chilies in hot water, and leave them in for 10 minutes
2) Put the guajillo chilies, the serrano peppers on the grill with the quartered onion, peeled garlic, and tomatoes for 4 or 5 minutes. The tomatoes need more time to roast on the grill than the chilies so leave them one or two minutes longer; you can roast them in the oven in a pan as well.
3) Blend the vegetables we previously roasted using a blender and adding the beer as the liquid to help with the blending process. Pour the salsa we just blended in a pot and heat it up on the stove and at the first sign of boiling add salt then adjust seasoning to your taste; finally add the previously cleaned and finely chopped cilantro, and simmer for a few minutes until you get the desired thickness. Hot or cold this salsa will be sure to please everyone…
The Mexican salsa ranchera
There is a saying that tells us that salsa is as essential to a table for a Mexican as is salt to other cultures… To accompany some of the dishes that appear on this site (such as the chicken tacos) may I suggest this tasty and easy Mexican salsa, but if you’re not used to the taste of chiles use it sparingly; you will still get that true Mexican taste you are looking for.
Recipe for salsa ranchera
2 peeled cloves of garlic, that you will press in
2 lb. ripe tomatoes.
5 serrano peppers, (those are small, green and fresh (not dried). Outside Mexico chilies can be hard to find, but they are becoming more and more commonplace in North American markets)
2 tablespoons oil.
1/3 cup finely chopped onions
Salt to taste.
Heat up a skillet, and put in the tomatoes without oil.
Mix constantly, tossing until the tomatoes’ skin become charred all over, the inside will still be soft.
Using a food processor, or preferably using a mortar, press in the garlic, unpeeled tomatoes, fresh chilies. Liquefy everything to a very fluid texture.
Now heat up the oil in a pan, add the onion bits and cook slightly (about 3 minutes cooking time).
Add the blended ingredients and ¸some salt. Simmer over low heat, scraping the bottom of the pan occasionally, until the sauce reduces and is slightly thickened (about 10 minutes). The sauce will have small black spots, from the charred tomatoes’ skin, a traditional feature of this sauce!
Use this Mexican sauce with other Mexican meals such as tacos or enchiladas.