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The World's Best Hot Fresh Salsa

Aug 17, 2007
If you enjoy a hot, fresh tasting salsa as I do, you will love this recipe. It is not hard to make, and will please any true hot food lover. Use it with tortilla chips as a dip, or add to other foods to enhance flavor and add some heat. Use it in tacos and other Mexican food dishes as you would a hot sauce. This recipe makes about three cups, and is quite hot and spicy.

Do not be afraid of the number of peppers in this recipe. Coring and seeding the peppers retains the flavor and provides a slow kick without overpowering you with heat.

3 red dried chile de arbol peppers
1/2 cup hot water
6-8 jalapeno peppers
4 red (orange) habanero peppers
2 medium fresh tomatoes (or substitute 1 can diced tomatoes)
12 sprigs fresh cilantro
3/4 to 1 cup chopped carrot
1/4 cup chopped white or yellow onion
1 and 1/2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
1/2 garlic clove, minced
Juice from 1/2 lime
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper (course ground pepper works well)
Small pinch of ground cumin (or 3 cumin seeds)
Pinch of dried oregano

How to prepare this hot, fresh salsa:

1. Break open the chile de arbol peppers. Discard the seeds and stem. Soak in the hot water for about 30 minutes to rehydrate.

2. Core, seed and chop the jalapeno and habanero peppers. Peel and chop the tomatoes. Chop the cilantro, use mostly the chopped leaves, and discard the stems.

3. Place the Chile de arbol peppers and 2 tablespoons of the soaking water along with the jalapenos, tomatoes, cilantro, and the rest of the ingredients into a blender. Blend to the desired consistency. Use the pulse function if your blender has one, to help make sure that you do not puree the mixture and make it too thin.

4. For best results, pour salsa into a glass jar (like a mason jar), cover tightly, and refrigerate for at least hour or so to let the flavors blend.

Preparation Tips:

You can substitute 2 cans of Hot Rotel Tomatoes with cilantro and lime juice for the tomatoes, cilantro, onion, and lime juice. This takes a little away from the fresh taste, but it also speeds up the process.

If the salsa is a little on the hot side for you, add more tomatoes and cool it down a bit. Habaneros have a short season for some reason and may be hard to find in some parts of the country. In some places, you will find habaneros sold as Scotch Bonnet Peppers.

It is a very good idea to wear plastic gloves while coring the jalapeno and habanero peppers. This protects sensitive skin from the hot pepper oils, which can be a skin irritant.

This salsa will keep in the refrigerator for a few days, but like any food using fresh ingredients, tastes the best if consumed within 1-2 days of preparation.

I have had excellent results using canned diced tomatoes, as the recipe suggests as an option to fresh tomatoes. Unfortunately, it is difficult to find really good fresh tomatoes in the supermarkets - you just about have to grow your own. The canned tomatoes seem to have a better flavor than most of the fresh ones I have found in supermarkets.
About the Author
Eldon Beard is a Manager with Watkins Products. Enjoy the finest gourmet food and cooking products, including delicious gourmet hot sauces. Visit our Watkins Online Product Catalog
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