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Oh, Summer, the many things that it brings to our lives: fresh vegetables and fruits, trips to the pool or beach, and vacation time for some. It’s the time of the year when many will use their barbecue grills almost every weekend if possible. For these days when you’re grilling your meat or chicken, warm up some tortillas alongside the meat to enjoy your grilling feast by making some tacos, and top it off with one of the most famous salsas in Central Mexico, one that’s sought after in many “Taquerias” for those who like to have a good, spicy, tasteful salsa. A good taco has to have a really good salsa to go along.
This salsa traditionally has Chiles de Arbol, tomatoes, garlic, salt and water, but some cooks like to add tomatillos (the medium size tomatoes with a husk), like I do in this recipe. This is a very spicy salsa, but you can adjust the spiciness to fit your own taste by reducing the amount of Arbol peppers. This salsa goes well with “Tacos al Pastor”, too. Most Taquerias in Mexico City that sell Tacos al Pastor offer this salsa to top your tacos with. Some people know this salsa as Salsa de Chile de Arbol and others as Salsa Taquera.
Makes 2 cups of salsa
- 1 Large sized tomato
- 4 medium sized tomatillos or 6 small ones *
- 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 1/3 of a medium white onion **
- 15 Dry Arbol Peppers ***
- Salt to taste
The method of cooking the ingredients can be either roasted, boiled or fried. All of these ways of cooking gives great results and different flavors to the salsa. I personally like this salsa when the ingredients are roasted. You can also roast them in your oven.
- The amount varies depending on the size of the tomatillos you buy.
- If you want your salsa in a dark red color use more tomatoes than tomatillos
- The onion is optional
Arbol peppers are spicier than other dry peppers. If you prefer less heat in your salsa remove some of the peppers.
1. Heat a skillet or heavy griddle over medium heat, once it’s hot. Arrange the tomatoes, onion, tomatillos and garlic to roast on the skillet.
2. Roast the ingredients until they start showing some blistering and look slightly softened, turning them to make sure they roast evenly. The garlic cooks in a few minutes and you will need to remove it, peel the skin, and set aside. The roasting process will take about 8 minutes. If your tomatoes don’t look to softened, wrap them in aluminum foil for about 10 minutes, this will help them to finish cooking.
3. When your tomatoes and onion look softened, it’s time to remove them and set aside or place in your blender or food processor along with the garlic. Now add the Arbol peppers to the hot griddle and slightly roast them, this will be a very fast step since the peppers skins burn easily, which gives them an unpleasant bitter taste, so be sure to turn them and roast the peppers without burning them.
4. Once all the ingredients, tomatoes, tomatillos, garlic, onion and arbol peppers are in the blender, process them until you have a fine texture. If
your salsa is too thick add a little water. Season with salt and serve in a bowl.