Salsas, Pickles and Jams

Salsa Macha with Pistachios, Walnuts and Pine Nuts

To me, one of the most fascinating kinds of salsas is salsa macha. It defies any preconception that many people have about a salsa. No pureed tomatoes or tomatillos, not even any tomatoes or tomatillos in it! No onion either. Also, rather than the chiles being toasted, simmered or roasted, here they are cooked in oil. And there are nuts. Tons of nuts.

I think one of the most common versions of salsa macha is a take from the state of Veracruz that uses dried chipotle chiles, garlic and peanuts. But there are of course countless versions. In this one, I use some of my favorite nuts —walnuts, pistachios, and pine nuts. And I play with the crowd-pleasing taste of guajillos and the feisty bite of chiles de árbol.

I also add something new that I’ve never put in a salsa macha before — amaranth seeds.

Salsa Macha with Pistachios, Walnuts and Pine Nuts

You can play with your own versions of salsa macha, too: choose dried chiles and nuts that you like, cook in oil until the ingredients transform, then season with some vinegar, and adjust with your favorite sweetener to add a hint of sweet to balance all that savoriness.

However, before you play… try this one. I find it so addicting. It is toasty, nutty, a little bit spicy, and a touch sweet and tangy, with a chunky and consistency and the most satisfying crunch. I use it as a topping for guacamole, soft scrambled eggs, baked potatoes, and my latest favorite is on an avocado toast.

Avocado Toast with Salsa Macha with Pistachios, Walnuts and Pine Nuts

You could also try it over French toast for a sweet/savory version, or on plain yogurt sweetened with a touch of honey for quick breakfast or snack.

But the options are endless, and it keeps forever in your refrigerator. 

Salsa Macha with Pistachios, Walnuts and Pine Nuts
Print Recipe
4.58 from 7 votes

Salsa Macha with Pistachios, Walnuts and Pine Nuts

I think one of the most common versions of salsa macha is a take from the state of Veracruz that uses dried chipotle chiles, garlic and peanuts. But there are of course countless versions. In this one, I use some of my favorite nuts —walnuts, pistachios, and pine nuts. And I play with the crowd-pleasing taste of guajillos and the feisty bite of chiles de árbol. I also add something new that I've never put in a salsa macha before — amaranth seeds.
Prep Time12 mins
Cook Time3 mins
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chiles de arbol, guajillo chiles, Macha, pine nuts, pistachios, Salsa, walnuts
Servings: 1 cup approximately
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 guajillo chiles stemmed, seeded and cut into small squares with
    scissors
  • 3 chiles de árbol remove stems but keep seeds, and cut into small
    rings
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • 3 tablespoons raw unsalted walnuts roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons raw unsalted pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons raw unsalted pistachios roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons amaranth seeds
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt or to taste

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the chiles, garlic, and nuts and sauté until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in the amaranth seeds. Scrape into a bowl and let cool. 
  • When cool, mix in vinegar, brown sugar, and salt. 

Notes

Salsa Macha con Pistaches, Nueces y Piñones

A Crazy Good Dip

It comes in handy to have a couple of lick-your-bowl-clean dips under your sleeve. That way when you know you are going to entertain a large crowd, or a small crowd of big eaters like the ones who live under my roof, you can whip up one of them fast while you figure out the rest of the meal.

This one has become a big hit at home. It combines ripe and mashed smooth avocado with a creamy and very tangy base of goat cheese. It is then beefed up with a generous amount of tasty crisp bacon bites and a judicious amount of jalapeño and shallots. On top of the dip you can drizzle a bit of rich sesame oil and sesame seeds. Continue reading “A Crazy Good Dip”

Ancho Chile Salsa (or Relish, or Pickle, or Viniagrette)!

This marinated salsa – more like a pickle or relish – is sweet, mildly spicy, and beguiling.

It is a very versatile salsa, too, as you can use it like a regular salsa and spoon it on top of any kind of antojito, like tacos, quesadillas, and even scoop it up with chips. It can also act as a luxurious relish for grilled meat, chicken or seafood, not to mention paninis, tortas or hamburgers. You can also use it as the surprising final touch on crostinis with a base of goat or fresh cheese, or cherry tomatoes… And these are just a few options.

I am so crazy about it, I can eat it like candy. I even said so below… (right after I showed you how to make it).

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QoISBOvCmI[/embedyt]

Yet, one of my favorite ways to use it is as a chunky vinaigrette on top of your mozzarella and tomato salad or over a grilled romaine and red bell pepper salad that I dreamed up with this ancho chile salsa in mind.

That is how I used it on one of my PBS series episodes, where the video clip I just shared with you comes from and got a fabulous response. However, I realized after reading some of the messages like the ones below….

“watching for the 1st time & just caught the end of something that you were just finishing & took a bite out of. you said it was simple to make & will keep in the fridge forever. it looked like a mason jar with some kind of peppers in it. do you know what was in it? thanks, shelley”
“hi i’m asking for the recipe u had in a mason jar i think it was a salsa with chili, i wish i knew the name. Can u help me please, you had it in your show when you did bbq ribs with your sister visiting. thanks again, Cecilia”
“You made something on the Sunday, September 21st TV show that had long dried black peppers that you cut with scissors. You made this jam or salsa and put it in the refrigerator. You said you put it on everything. You keep it in your refrigerator with backup available. Please give me this recipe. Thank you, Crystal”
“Pati, What was in the jar that you made that you said you keep in the refrigerator and eat like candy from the girls just want to have fun episode. it was a pickled something can you tell me what that was? Adam”
“Hi Pati, i always enjoy watching your show. However i missed the first part of your ancho chile vinaigrette. Did u use dried chile or fresh chile. Thanks! Marj”
“Hola Paty Me gusta mucho su programa. En uno de sus programas dio la receta para hacer una conserva de chile ancho, se me pasaron los ingredientes, podria darme los ingredientes. Laura Peña”
“Hi Pati, I just watched your show – Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and you make what I thought was an Ancho Chile Relish. You said it is a staple that you keep in your icebox every day … in a ball jar! I have looked all over for the recipe – could you help me? Rita”
“Dear pati, The show with your girl friends that you made the ribs and the drinks out in your back yard was great. But you made a dressing with Chile’s that you used in the salad you made with I think was onions oil vinegar not to sure , but you and your sister tasted it out side your house you kept it in the fridge. In a jar. Can you give me the recipe it looked so tasty you cut the chile with scissors. Thank you in advance would appreciate a response. Thanks again. Have a great Mother’s day!!!! Judith”
“Pati, I just caught my first show of yours on PBS. Love your passion for great food and will be watching more shows as they air ! Just wondering if you have the recipe for the ancho chile sauce you made in the jar on your website somewhere ? Jim”
“Hola Pati I just watched your episode that featured the Chipotle Honey Ribs. I was intrigued by the Ancho Salsa that you made and kept in the refrigerator. I tried to find it in the recipe from the episode but couldn’t find it. Any way you can post the ingredients? Thanks Dan”
“I do not know if it’s called that but you used ancho chile cut up with a scissor and placed in a jar with other ingredients but I have not been able to find the recipe. You can eat it alone. I do want to try it. Thank you. Love your show Wanda Montanez”

…that the Ancho Chile Vinaigrette (or Salsa or Pickle) should have been a stand alone recipe. It deserves its very own post.

ancho chile

The main star of this salsa (or pickle, or vinaigrette, or relish…) is the ancho chile. A dreamy and spectacular ingredient in its own right.

Making it is so easy, simply stem and seed the anchos and cut them with a pair of scissors (that is why in some northern states versions of it are also called Salsa de Tijera).

ancho chiles cut into pieces

Then you add chopped white onion, garlic…

ancho chile pieces, onion and garlic

Vegetable oil…

adding oil to ancho chile salsa ingredients

Rice and white vinegar, brown sugar and salt…

adding sugar to ancho chile salsa

Mix it up, and let it do its thing… After 8 hours, you can store it in the refrigerator, and it will last as long as you have it there to finish it up (ok at least 6 months…)!

finished ancho chile salsa

I usually add everything to a glass jar; the same one I am going to store it in. I then shake it up, close it and place it in the refrigerator. I made it in this red casserole, just to show the steps… Whichever method you choose, I promise it will be worth your while.

 

ancho chile salsa
Print Recipe
4.75 from 4 votes

Ancho Chile Salsa (or Pickle)

This marinated salsa – more like a pickle or relish – is sweet, mildly spicy, and beguiling. It is a very versatile salsa, too, as you can use it like a regular salsa and spoon it on top of any kind of antojito, like tacos, quesadillas, and even scoop it up with chips. It can also act as a luxurious relish for grilled meat, chicken or seafood, not to mention paninis, tortas or hamburgers. You can also use it as the surprising final touch on crostinis with a base of goat or fresh cheese, or cherry tomatoes… And these are just a few options.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: ancho chiles, brown sugar, chile, garlic, onion, piloncillo, Recipe, Salsa, vinegar
Servings: 2 cups
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 6 to 8 ancho chiles rinsed, stemmed and seeded, about 3 ounces
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar or grated piloncillo or to taste

Instructions

  • Using kitchen scissors or a sharp knife, cut the stemmed and seeded chiles lengthwise into thin strips and place them in a mixing bowl. Add the onion, garlic, vinegars, oil, salt and sugar to the bowl and toss to mix well. Transfer everything to a container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for at least 8 hours before using.

Notes

Escabeche de Chile Ancho

Salsa Macha

Salsa Macha is a very thick and unusual salsa that comes from the state of Veracruz. Located along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, it has been for centuries, a gateway for waves of immigrants from all over the world into Mexico (like my paternal grandparents).

Veracruz, being such an important channel for exchange and always immersed in flux, has seen some of the most interesting combinations of ingredients, cooking techniques and traditions. Salsa Macha is an example.

It is made by frying dried chipotle chiles (mainly the morita kind) in a generous amount of olive oil, along with garlic cloves. The last two ingredients courtesy of the Spanish conquest, for sure. Then it is seasoned with salt. Some versions add fresh chiles such as serranos or jalapeños into the mix. Many times peanuts are added and sesame seeds too.

This one here, is my preferred version, and I take the liberty of adding a joyous amount of vinegar and some brown sugar or piloncillo to balance it off. This combination pleases me so much, that I spoon it on crusty bread with much joy.

Since it has a lot of olive oil, the chile paste will sink to the bottom after it rests for a few minutes. You can choose to stir it up and eat it well combined, or you can let it settle, and use the flavored oil.

salsa macha
p.s. The name is a funny one, because macha, is the femenine of the word macho. So it can translate as being a masculine female salsa. Macha can also translate as brave, so you can take your pick!

salsa macha
Print Recipe
4.15 from 7 votes

Salsa Macha

Salsa Macha is a very thick and unusual salsa that comes from the state of Veracruz. Located along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, it has been for centuries, a gateway for waves of immigrants from all over the world into Mexico (like my paternal grandparents).
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: brown sugar, Chipotle, garlic, Peanuts, Sesame Seed, vinegar
Servings: 3 cups
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces dried chipotle chiles stemmed, seeded torn into pieces, about 1½ to 2 cups
  • 2 1/2 cups olive oil
  • 1/3 cup raw unsalted peanuts or unsalted other nuts you may prefer such as pecans or pine nuts
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons white distilled vinegar

Instructions

  • Set a large heavy skillet over medium heat and add the oil. Once the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the garlic cloves. Stir and fry for about one minute, until they start to gain color. Add the chipotle chiles and peanuts, stir and fry for about two minutes. Add the sesame seeds, stir and continue to fry for about a minute. Remove from heat. Carefully transfer all the contents from the skillet into the jar of a blender. Let cool for about 10 minutes.
  • Add the salt, sugar and vinegar. Process until smooth, starting with low speed and building up to high speed. Pour into a container, let cool and refrigerate if the salsa will not be used that day.

Fennel and Lime Crema

This is one of the quickest recipes that I have come up with.

It was just as quick to come up with it, as it was quick to make it.

It was sheer craving: I imagined it to accompany the Potato, Sweet Potato and Granny Smith Latkes, but you can use it to complement so many other things.

fennel and lime crema

It just mixes the already salty and tangy Mexican Cream with the crunchy chopped fennel bulb, fragrant fennel fronds, fresh-squeezed lime juice and salt.

Hey: You may also use it as a vegetable dip, why not?

fennel and lime crema
Print Recipe
4 from 2 votes

Fennel and Lime Crema

This is one of the quickest recipes that I have come up with. It was just as quick to come up with it, as it was quick to make it. It just mixes the already salty and tangy Mexican Cream with the crunchy chopped fennel bulb, fragrant fennel fronds, fresh-squeezed lime juice and salt.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time2 mins
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: fennel, lime, mexican crema, pati's mexican table
Servings: 1 cups
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Mexican style cream
  • 1/2 cup finely diced fennel bulb
  • 1 tablespoon fennel fronds chopped
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt or to taste

Instructions

  • In a small mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients. Done!

Notes

Crema de Eneldo y Limón 

Tomatillo and Lime Jam

I began to see the exotic side of the tomatillo once in the US.

Growing up in Mexico, they were a standard at every market, part of our weekly mandado, present in our family meals at least half a dozen times a week: in salsa verde to pour on top of almost everything, in enchiladas, chilaquiles, bathing fish, covering a shredded meat and potato stew, and sometimes cactus paddles.

Think something like salt … how odd it is to find a kitchen without salt?

Once we moved to Texas, the only place I could find them was in Latino stores. As the years moved on, there was no one I met without a Mexican connection who had ever cooked with a tomatillo or even dared to bring one home.

Sure, many people love salsa verde and eat it in restaurants or buy a jar at the store, but few know that its star ingredient, is the tomatillo.

Tomatillo and Lime Jam 1

Ok, I get it.

It’s hard to tell what a gorgeous creature the tomatillo is from the outside. With its papery husk specked with dust that sticks to the sticky and seemingly mossy skin…  So fifteen years later, now that they are not only in Latino stores but also in mainstream ones, its no surprise to see that not many people place them in their baskets.

But, husked and rinsed, stripped down to their natural glory, tomatillos are a stunner. Bright and crisp, smooth and shinny, with a firmer flesh than the tomato and with an unmatchable tart flavor, they are stars undercover waiting to be discovered.

Tomatillo and Lime Jam 2

Amazing it is, that I realized how unique they are once outside of Mexico. Moreover, how versatile they can be. Not only for salty spins, but for sweet ones too. And always, so easy to use. I’ve now used them cooked and raw, in sauces, stews, salads and one of my favorites: Jam.

The brilliant and adventurous Mexican Chef Enrique Olvera first introduced me to the sweet spin of tomatillos, when he came to DC to cook for a special event at the Institute. He and his sous chef, prepared a quick tomatillo jam made with water, vinegar and sugar and served it with a variety of cheeses and crackers. Heavenly!

Playing with his idea, being a fan of the combination of the tartness of the tomatillo with the tangy taste from citrus, after quite a few tries I found what has now become a staple in our home. A tomatillo and lime jam.

Tomatillo and Lime Jam 3

All you do is dice those tomatillos, place them in a medium sauce pan along with the sugar, and the lime rind. You can add the rind in a long single piece or you can cut it into little pieces, which I am now getting fond of as you can enjoy those delicious bites later on.

Cover with water…

Tomatillo and Lime Jam 4

Add a pinch of salt, to balance things out in that pan…

Tomatillo and Lime Jam 5

Bring it all to a medium simmer, and let it thicken until it has a thin and loose jam consistency. Keep an eye on it as it does, and stir here and there… Don’t let it thicken too much because it will thicken as it cools.

Tomatillo and Lime Jam 6

That’s all there is to it!

See how amazed I am by its beauty and flavor, that I can’t help but keep on adding more and more photos in here…

Well, I also love that set of plates my sister Alisa gave me for my birthday and think they photograph so beautifully.

Tomatillo and Lime Jam 7

You can have the jam with a piece of toast as you sip your morning coffee (fine, or tea too…), spoon it over a piece of pound cake, serve it as an exotic side to your appetizer cheese platter…

Or, why not? Just spoon it right into your mouth. Like I do. You will bite not only those delicious tomatillo seeds covered in that sweet, tart, tangy jam, but you will also get those irresistibly bitter caramelized pieces of lime rind.

The beauty of the tomatillo, becomes increasingly exposed…

Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Tomatillo and Lime Jam

The brilliant and adventurous Mexican Chef Enrique Olvera first introduced me to the sweet spin of tomatillos, when he came to DC to cook for a special event at the Institute. He and his sous chef, prepared a quick tomatillo jam made with water, vinegar and sugar and served it with a variety of cheeses and crackers. Heavenly! Playing with his idea, being a fan of the combination of the tartness of the tomatillo with the tangy taste from citrus, after quite a few tries I found what has now become a staple in our home. A tomatillo and lime jam.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: jam, lime, Recipe, Salsa, tomatillos
Servings: 1 1/4 cup
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 1 pound tomatillos husks removed, rinsed and roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
  • Rind of a lime
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  • Place all of the ingredients in a saucepan set over medium-high heat. Let the mixture come to a simmer and stir occasionally, letting it cook until it has thickened and achieved a soft jam consistency.

Notes

Mermelada de Tomate Verde con Limón

You Asked for It: Chipotle Chiles in Adobo Sauce

Shortly after posting one of my first Basic Ingredients posts, on Chipotles in Adobo Sauce, Cath Kelly from Australia commented: “I’ve been desperately looking for a recipe to make Chipotles in Adobo. We smoke our own Jalapeños which turn out beautiful, and this is the next step in my cooking process. Please hurry up and cook them up for us!”

Australia… An exotic place for someone to wonder how to make this addicting and versatile Mexican chile pickle. What’s more, as much as Chipotles in Adobo are a basic staple in Mexican cooking, most Mexicans buy them ready-made in cans in stores and of extraordinary quality.

Think mustard, do you buy it or make your own?

Then again, time has proved there are more people into making things from scratch than what I thought: The most visited Post on my site, by far, is the one to make Pickled Jalapeños. Another chile pickle devoured by Mexicans from morning ’til night, from north to south, also usually bought ready-made in cans.

Well, Cath, it has taken me a while. I am sorry. It has not been because I didn’t have your request in mind. On the contrary, I’ve been testing and tweaking my recipe here and there, for over a year (!) so that when you make it, it can be better than what you get in the stores.

Chipotles in Adobo 1
There are different types of Chipotle Chiles. All Chipotles are Jalapeños that have been ripened, dried and smoked. They all turn out to be spicy, rich and smoky. But different varieties of Jalapeños turn into different varieties of Chipotles.

The smaller kind of Jalapeños, more intensely flavored and fragrant than the rest, turn into Chipotles Moritas, pictured above. Dark in color and deep in taste, they’re the ones I prefer. Commercial makers do too, probably because of their flavor and attractive color, but also because being smaller, they work well for the smaller sized cans sold in shops.

You can also use Chipotles Mecos, pictured below. They are bigger than Moritas and with a much lighter color. They are tasty too.

Chipotles in Adobo 2
The perception exists, that it is complicated to make Chipotles in Adobo. It’s not.

Chipotles need to be rinsed and simmered in water for about 15 minutes. This rehydrates and plumps them up, so they can absorb the flavors from the Adobo sauce and have a soft bite.

Chipotles in Adobo 3
Most recipes for pickling Chipotles, don’t include the Adobo element. But it is the Adobo which makes the store bought product so rich and delicious.

To make it, aside from the usual pickling suspects such as vinegar, oil and spices, after a lot of testing, I found out you need Ancho chiles. Some people add tomatoes some people don’t. My palate does call for them. Once the tomatoes and Ancho chiles are cooked in water until soft, and pureed, they make a rich Adobo base.

Chipotles in Adobo 4
Yes… The idea of marinating a Chile in the puree of another Chile is wild. But it is exquisite. Chipotles are spicy, smoky and rich. Anchos are bittersweet, mild and have a prune like flavor. Trust me, they like each other’s company.

The Ancho chile base is cooked and seasoned over sauteed carrots, onion and garlic in olive oil.

Chipotles in Adobo 5

With the addition of marjoram, thyme and bay leaves.

Chipotles in Adobo 6

 

Then those chiles beg for salt and a generous amount of brown sugar, or piloncillo. What it does to those Chipotles is blissful.

No.

Maybe sinful.

You be the judge…

Chipotles in Adobo 7
To finish the Adobo, pour rice vinegar and white distilled vinegar. That combination of vinegars works as if you were using the fruit based home made vinegars traditional in Mexico’s countryside.

Chipotles in Adobo 8

 

Then you just add the chipotles, cook it all together for 10 minutes. And you are done.

Chipotles in Adobo 9

 

Once they cool off, place them in pint sized jars.

This recipe will make four pints you can keep in the refrigerator until you finish eating them (they will last months and months and keep getting better).

Chipotles in Adobo 10
There may be a more important reason why most Mexicans don’t make their own Chipotles in Adobo Sauce. Not only is it because the product sold at the shops is so good. Or because there is the perception that it takes a long time to make them. I think its mostly because they are so good, and eaten in such large quantities, that any home cook would need to make Chipotles in Adobo continuously in their kitchen to meet the steady demand for more.

They are eaten with everything! Tortas, sandwiches, quesadillas, tostadas as a pickle… They are also used to season and flavor from soups to stews, to tamales to beans, dressings and casseroles… and so much more…

Here you go Cath Kelly, I hope this recipe pleases you so. Now you got me in trouble, my husband says he will not eat the canned product anymore.

Print Recipe
4.75 from 4 votes

Chipotle Chiles in Adobo Sauce

Shortly after posting one of my first Basic Ingredients posts, on Chipotles in Adobo Sauce, Cath Kelly from Australia commented: “I’ve been desperately looking for a recipe to make Chipotles in Adobo. We smoke our own Jalapeños which turn out beautiful, and this is the next step in my cooking process. Please hurry up and cook them up for us!”
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time1 d
Course: Antojos, Sauce
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: ancho chiles, carrots, chipotles in adobo, jalapeno, onion, piloncillo, Recipe, Salsa, Tomatoes, vinegar
Servings: 4 pints
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound dried chipotle chiles moritas about 90, or for the mecos, about 45
  • 1 ounce ancho chiles about 2 or 3 chiles, rinsed, stemmed and seeded
  • 4 roma tomatoes about 1 pound
  • 1 1/2 cup ancho chile and tomato cooking liquid see below
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 3 cups medium carrots peeled and sliced, about 2 1/2 carrots
  • 1 white onion halved and sliced, about 3 cups
  • 6 garlic cloves thickly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar or piloncillo grated
  • 1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt or more to taste
  • 3/4 cup white distilled vinegar
  • 3/4 cup rice vinegar

Instructions

  • Rinse the chipotle chiles and drain. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Set over medium-high heat. Once the water begins to simmer, cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  • Place the stemmed and seeded ancho chiles and tomatoes in a pot and cover with water. Simmer for about 6 to 8 minutes until the tomatoes are cooked through and soft. Transfer to a blender with 1 cup of the cooking liquid, and puree until smooth.
  • In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the carrots and onion, let them season for a couple minutes. Make some room and add the garlic, cook for another minute. Pour in the ancho chile and tomatoe puree, the marjoram, thyme, bay leaves, salt and sugar. Stir, and let the sauce season and thicken for 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Pour in the vinegars, and cook for another 5 minutes. Finally, drain the chipotles, discard their cooking liquid and add to the mix. Let it all cook together for 5 more minutes and turn off the heat. Let them cool off and place in jars.
  • Cover tightly and refrigerate. Give them a day before you eat them, so they will have had time to pickle and thrive in that adobo sauce.
  • They will keep in the refrigerator for 6 months, if you don't eat them all first.

Notes

Chipotles en Adobo

Chipotle Guacamole for any Party (or Disaster)

I am not one to prepare for disasters.

People can tell me a thousand times that severe thunderstorms are approaching, that a dry spell is forcasted or that a shortage of something essential like water (or coffee) will happen, and no, I will not be among the first to run for shelter nor stock up on provisions. I don’t know if it is my continuous belief that despite humps and downs eventually things turn out OK or if I am lacking an alarm button…I just don’t panic.

When I took it as a serious matter to go to the grocery store in the middle of my work day, at a rather inconvenient time, it wasn’t because there is a strong snowstorm coming (though my boys did give me an absurdly long grocery list to prepare for it), it was because we ran out of Mexican avocados.

The grocery store was wild: an insane crowd was moving around the isles, lines like I have never seen at the cashiers and empty shelves throughout. But oh!…there they were: some beautiful ripe Mexican Hass avocados waiting for me to bring them home.

Although we use avocados at home for an infinity of things… we also love guacamole. It just never gets old around here, nor I think, anywhere. Yet, one of the versions I like the most uses Chipotle Chilies in Adobo instead of fresh Jalapeños or Serranos.

Chipotle Guacamole 1

The creamy, silky and mild nature of the avocados takes a jump into the sky when paired with the smoky, spicy, rich and complexly flavored Chipotles in Adobo.

It may be that avocados work so well with chiles, because avocados are one of their natural soothing counterpart: the spicy element in chiles called capsaicin which is an oily substance, dissolves best in other oily elements, alcohol or milk products. Avocados, being oily in such a wholesome way are the remedy to the heat in the same bowl. This being said, if you feel like pumping up the heat and flavor by adding more chipotle chiles, you may want to pair this guacamole with a nice cold beer. And while you are at it, why not scoop some Mexican style cream or sour cream on top of the guacamole too. YUM.

Needless to say, this recipe takes less than 5 minutes to prepare. But most importantly given the date, this is my loved contribution for your Super Bowl gathering… whether it turns out to be a disaster or a party (!).

Make extra portions as it flies as soon as you mix it all up. And since no guacamole is complete without corn tortilla totopos or chips, here is a link to help you make some at home.

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5 from 1 vote

Chipotle Guacamole

Although we use avocados at home for an infinity of things… we also love guacamole. It just never gets old around here, nor I think, anywhere. Yet, one of the versions I like the most uses Chipotle Chilies in Adobo instead of fresh Jalapeños or Serranos.
Prep Time5 mins
Course: Antojos, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Antojo, Avocado, chile, chipotles in adobo, cilantro, guacamole, lime, onion, Recipe, Salsa, tortilla chips, Vegetarian
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 2 large ripe Mexican avocados about 1 1/2 lb, halved, seeded, meat scooped out and diced
  • 1/3 cup white onion chopped
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons Chipotles in adobo sauce seeded and chopped, more if desired
  • Tortilla chips toast squares, pita chips, crackers or vegetable sticks, optional

Instructions

  • Gently mix ingredients in a bowl and serve.
  • Guacamole can be prepared up to 12 hours in advance if covered and stored in the refrigerator. Eat on its own, as a side, as a topping, or scooped with tortilla chips, toast squares, pita chips, crackers or vegetable sticks.

Notes

Guacamole al Chipotle

Do You Dare? Habanero Salsa!

This salsa does hurt.

But just a little.

Yet it goes oh-so-well with the Pollo Pibil, which together with red pickled onions makes for a delicious Yucatecan meal. A bowl of this Habanero salsa is standard on just about every table in Yucatán. Around there, people drizzle some spoonfuls, or drops, on just about everything.

I recently found this salsa is heavenly combined with Louisiana style Bar-b-que and some baked beans (!). While it can make people very unhappy if not given a warning of how spicy it is, for the Yucatan class we had in December, the 20 batches made were gone before the middle of the meal. We did give our guests a warning… While my cooking team kept saying I was making too much, we made some bets, and much to my surprise, I won. I have learned now, that the American and international palate is much more open, than say a decade ago, for spicy foods.

Market pics-thumb-510x342-403
So Habaneros have become wildly popular throughout the world. Aside from their cute, happy and beautiful appearance, they are one incredible source of heat and are used to make many hot sauces that heat aficionados, like my uncle, crave for.

The photo above shows some Habaneros my husband shot at the market in Mérida, Yucatán. The photo below, are Habaneros I found here in the DC area.

Habanero2.JPG
This wickeldy hot sauce is really easy to make at home. Just char the chiles and garlic cloves either in a broiler, a dry skillet or a hot comal (as I did below for the 20 batches of salsa for the Yucatán cooking class and dinner).

Habanero4.JPG
Then, please seed the chiles.

Believe me.

You must!

While I have gotten many requests for very spicy hot sauces from some of you, dear friends… please seed the Habaneros. If not, instead of wickedly-spicy salsa, you will have a somebody-please-help-me-or-I shall-die-from-this-heat salsa.

Once charred and soft, place the seeded chiles and peeled garlic cloves in the blender or your molcajete, and puree or mash away with some salt and either bitter orange or its substitute (1/4 orange juice, 1/4 grapefruit juice, 1/4 lime juice and 1/4 vinegar).

Habanero7.JPG
One of the nice things about using a molcajete, aside of exercising your arm a bit, is that the molcajete stores oils, flavors and aromas of the ingredients previously used. The molcajete adds a hint of those flavors, and its stored memories, into future concoctions.

If you dare try this salsa (hey! come on, why not?), please let me know, after you get over the shock.

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4.25 from 4 votes

Habanero Salsa

This salsa does hurt. But just a little. Yet it goes oh-so-well with the Pollo Pibil, which together with red pickled onions makes for a delicious Yucatecan meal. A bowl of this Habanero salsa is standard on just about every table in Yucatán. Around there, people drizzle some spoonfuls, or drops, on just about everything.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: bitter orange juice, chile, garlic, habanero, Recipe, Salsa, Vegetarian
Servings: 1 cup
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 4 habanero chilies charred (seeded if you want to try to reduce the heat)
  • 6 garlic cloves toasted or roasted and then peeled
  • 1 cup bitter orange juice or its substitute (1/4 cup grapefruit juice, 1/4 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup lime juice and 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt more or less to taste

Instructions

  • Char the habanero chiles and garlic cloves with their skin on either a comal or dry skillet over medium heat, on the grill or under the boiler. In either case, it will take anywhere from 4 to 9 minutes, flipping once or twice in between. You know they are ready when their skins are charred and toasted and they have softened, without having burnt the flesh.
  • For the traditional take, peel the garlic cloves and place, along with the chiles, in a molcajete or mortar. Smash until fairly smooth. Add the salt and the bitter orange, or its substitutes, and mix until well combined.
  • Alternatively, place the ingredients in the blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

Notes

Salsita de Chile Habanero Tumulada o Kut

Pickled Red Onions a la Yucateca

As promised, and right before the year ends, here is a recipe for pickled red onions or cebollas encurtidas or en escabeche, so you can try them with Pollo Pibil. Please do! You will see why it’s no wonder pickled red onion has been Pibil’s faithful and enlightened companion for centuries: they both taste great separately, but blissful when paired together.

Pickled red onions are also a permanent fixture at every single table in Yucatan. As they are mildly spicy, deliciously tangy and surprisingly crunchy they go well with so many things. These past couple weeks I learned first hand why they are such a fabulous pickle to have handy.

Since one of its main ingredients, the bitter orange, is hard to come by around here, I had 16 takes with different bitter orange substitutes. There are well-known versions for substitutes, but I am not crazy about any of them. 16 pickled red onion batches later: I found one I love! It is equal parts grapefruit, orange, lime juice and white distilled vinegar. Without the vinegar it’s not acid enough and the pickle loses its color and crunch, it faints quickly.

Pickled Red Onions 1
But since I am not one to throw away tasty things, those 16 batches found their way into toasted sandwiches, on top of rice and cous cous, along tacos and quesadillas, as a capricious side to enchiladas and scrambled eggs in the morning, sprinkled on refried beans. The last batch, which was destined to complement broiled flank steak a couple nights ago was gone before I finished slicing the meat.

And you will like this: takes 10 minutes to make them and they last weeks in your refrigerator. Just mix the marinade ingredients in a bowl, slice the onions (which some cooks like to quickly blanche in hot water or desflemar before pickling, I don’t because the onion loses that strength that I like, but you can try…), then add one, or why not two, charred banana peppers, let it all sit and get comfortable together, and you are set.

Pickled Red Onions 2
There are banana peppers in many stores in the DC-MD-VA area, but if you can’t find them, just substitute for Jalapeños. They work great as well.

The pickled red onions will be sitting in your refrigerator ready to give a spin to almost anything you may put together, no matter how fast or slow, simple or complicated. I am always amazed at how accommodating salsas and pickles can be.

So for this 2010, aside for hoping you all have a wholesome and sweet year, I hope you can always have a tasty pickled side handy to give you a bit of a spunk, whenever you need one. It has worked for me at times when I have needed some. And when I really need a kick, I leave the pickled onions aside and give that pickled pepper a big bite.

Pickled Red Onions main
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3.67 from 3 votes

Pickled Red Onions a la Yucateca

Pickled red onions are also a permanent fixture at every single table in Yucatan. As they are mildly spicy, deliciously tangy and surprisingly crunchy they go well with so many things. These past couple weeks I learned first hand why they are such a fabulous pickle to have handy.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: allspice, banana chiles, bitter orange juice, pickled red onions, Recipe, red onion, Vegetarian
Servings: 2 cups
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 1 cup bitter orange juice or substitute: 1/4 cup each grapefruit juice, orange juice, lime juice and white distilled vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice or pimienta gorda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt or more to taste (I add more... but I am keen on salt)
  • 1 large red onion thinly sliced (cortada en pluma), about 2 cups
  • 1 banana pepper guero or x'catik, roasted, broiled or charred (may substitute for Jalapeño)
  • 2 bay leaves

Instructions

  • Place the bitter orange (or its substitute or plain vinegar) in a mixing bowl along with the black pepper, allspice and salt. Mix well. Incorporate the red onions and bay leaves.
  • Char or broil the banana pepper in the broiler, on the grill, on a hot comal or dry skillet set over medium heat or directly on an open flame, for 3 to 6 minutes. Turn it once or twice, until its skin has lightly charred. Incorporate to the onion mix.
  • Toss well and let the mix pickle at room temperature anywhere from 1/2 hour to 2 hours, cover and refrigerate. It will keep in the refrigerator in great shape for 2 weeks.

Notes

Cebollas Encurtidas Yucatecas

A True Mexican Collectible: Versatile Summertime Salsas…

When asked recently whether I was a collector of some sort, I thought of my grandmother’s cabinet that holds hundreds of elephant figurines — more than 60 years’ worth, from many places. And she’s still adding to the lot. So my response was no.

Then a few days later I realized that I am a collector: of foods tasted throughout my life, or at least the memories of them. This is especially true of salsas. I have countless papers scattered on my desk with notes about the names of them, the places I ate them, their ingredients, the cooks who made them and, when generously given, directions on how to re-create them.

When the mood strikes, I search to find that precise note (which may be in a coat pocket, bag or drawer). Or I sit down with eyes closed and try to remember the feel of the sauce.

When all else fails, I make one up.

If you look in my refrigerator, you will find a salsa. That is mainly because my husband is always asking for one but also because salsas can pump up the beauty and richness of any meal. To me, salsas are one of the exceptional elements of Mexican cooking: delicious, accommodating and versatile. Among the many possibilities, we eat salsas on top of rice, beans, potatoes; alongside meats, chicken, seafood and vegetables; spooned inside or outside all sorts of dishes such as tacos, quesadillas and enchiladas; scooped with a piece of toast and spooned straight from the container.

I wouldn’t dare guess how many salsas there are in Mexican cooking as I am sure to be wrong, and the cuisine keeps evolving. But I can safely say that if I were to give you a different salsa to taste each month, my lifetime, however long, wouldn’t give us enough time to cover the choices.

Salsas can be eaten from morning till night, and are known to be especially savored after midnight when the food stands on Mexican streets — and some in Los Angeles, as well — serve their secret-recipe salsas with antojos and quick dishes. The late-night crowds crave them.

Some are made with dozens of ingredients, prepared in laborious ways. Others use a few easy-to-find ingredients and can be assembled in minutes. For me, the latter sound like the perfect salsas for summer.

Three of my no-cook favorites, from my ever-growing and scattered collection, are a raw tomatillo and chipotle salsa, made lush with the addition of avocado and fresh cheese; a luxurious mango salsa with slivers of red onion, jalapeño and chopped cilantro; and a versatile, ancho chili pickled salsa, which keeps in the fridge for months.

If you are so inclined, please leave comments online about the accompanying recipes (or share with me whatever food-related things you tend to gather). I will collect them all.

This article was written for and published by The Washington Post on August 5, 2009 The Washington Post.

salsa verde or tomatillo salsa
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5 from 2 votes

Raw Tomatillo and Chipotle Salsa Verde

A raw tomatillo and chipotle salsa made lush with the addition of avocado and fresh cheese.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Appetizer, Sauce
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Avocado, Chipotle, cruda, queso fresco, raw, Recipe, Salsa, salsa verde, tomatillos
Servings: 2 cups salsa approximately
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 1 pound tomatillos husked, rinsed and quartered
  • 1 medium garlic clove coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped white onion
  • Leaves and thin stems from 4 or 5 stems of cilantro coarsely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons sauce from canned chipotle chiles in adobo plus 1 canned chipotle chile (optional)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt or more to taste
  • 1 ripe avocado cut into large dice (optional)
  • 8 ounces queso fresco cotija, or farmers cheese, cut into large dice (optional)

Instructions

  • Combine the quartered tomatillos, garlic, onion, cilantro, sauce from the canned chipotle chiles, the canned chipotle chile, if desired, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Puree until smooth, then transfer to a 2-cup container with a tight-fitting lid.
  • At this point, the salsa can be covered and refrigerated for a day.
  • When ready to serve, transfer to a serving bowl; add the avocado and cheese, if desired. Toss gently to combine. Taste and adjust salt as needed.

Notes

Salsa Verde Cruda con Chipotle
Fresh Mango Salsa
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Fresh Mango Salsa

A luxurious mango salsa with slivers of red onion, jalapeño and chopped cilantro.
Prep Time10 mins
Resting Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Appetizer, Sauce
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: mango, Pico de Gallo, raw, Recipe, Salsa
Servings: 4 1/2 cups salsa
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium red onion cut into very thin slivers (about 1/3 cup)
  • Juice from 2 limes about 4 tablespoons
  • 2 1/2 pounds (about 4) ripe mangoes peeled and cut into large dice
  • 1 large jalapeño pepper stemmed, seeded and finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons, or more to taste)
  • Leaves from 4 stems cilantro finely chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt or more to taste

Instructions

  • Combine the onion and lime juice in a mixing bowl; toss to coat and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Combine the mango, jalapeno, cilantro, oil and salt in a separate mixing bowl. Add the onion and lime juice mixture when it’s ready and toss to mix well. Taste and add salt or jalapeno as needed.

Notes

Pico de Gallo de Mango
ancho chile salsa
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4.75 from 4 votes

Ancho Chile Salsa (or Pickle)

This marinated salsa – more like a pickle or relish – is sweet, mildly spicy, and beguiling. It is a very versatile salsa, too, as you can use it like a regular salsa and spoon it on top of any kind of antojito, like tacos, quesadillas, and even scoop it up with chips. It can also act as a luxurious relish for grilled meat, chicken or seafood, not to mention paninis, tortas or hamburgers. You can also use it as the surprising final touch on crostinis with a base of goat or fresh cheese, or cherry tomatoes… And these are just a few options.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: ancho chiles, brown sugar, chile, garlic, onion, piloncillo, Recipe, Salsa, vinegar
Servings: 2 cups
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 6 to 8 ancho chiles rinsed, stemmed and seeded, about 3 ounces
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar or grated piloncillo or to taste

Instructions

  • Using kitchen scissors or a sharp knife, cut the stemmed and seeded chiles lengthwise into thin strips and place them in a mixing bowl. Add the onion, garlic, vinegars, oil, salt and sugar to the bowl and toss to mix well. Transfer everything to a container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for at least 8 hours before using.

Notes

Escabeche de Chile Ancho

Pickled Jalapeño Kind of Gal

I am not one to carry a bottle of hot sauce in my bag wherever I go. I do have an uncle that proudly does. Wherever he travels, his Tabasco sauce eagerly jumps out of his bag and splashes its somewhat flavorless heat on whatever food it happens to come across. Yep, fancy restaurants too.

Now I know… Mexicans have the reputation of loving to eat everything with chiles. I admit this to be true. As Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, Spanish priest, defender of indigenous people, and chronicler of early colonial times said in the XVI century: Without chiles, Mexicans do not consider they have eaten. Hmmmm… the same can be said today. With the caveat, that it’s not just the heat that we crave.

Most Mexicans are picky chile eaters. Since we have so many varieties, and such varied and distinct ways to use and prepare them, we can exquisitely discriminate how and what we pair them with. We love their different flavors, textures, fragrances and personalities. It is like considering different kinds of fruits. So my uncle is more an exception than the rule.

All this to say, without any excuse, that although I am not a hot sauce bottle kind of woman, I am a pickled Jalapeño kind of gal.

But I do have my limits… just like reasonable limits most pickled pickles kinds of people have. They may eat a pickle with different kinds of sandwiches; how about a schnitzel with mashed potatoes; it sounds good with a thick and juicy veal sausage with sauerkraut; and of course a fresh bagel with lox… But it would be surprising to see pickled pickles kinds of people eat them with a bowl of Spaghetti Marinara.

Pickled Jalapenos 2(Photo of Jalapeños, carrots and onions macerating in kosher salt in pickling process)

I don’t want to judge, people should eat whatever they want along whatever pickle or salsa they want. But it does make sense to have some guidelines to help us define and enjoy the world we live in. So no pickles with ice cream for me. And no… my pregnancies were not an excuse for that either.
Yet, it was really funny to see the surprise on my friends faces when we walked into a Pizzeria in Cape May about a month ago, after I asked the Pizza man if he had pickled Jalapeños as a side or as a topping. His face was not only as surprised as my friends’ were, but it also gave me the quick and definite answer. NO! (which really felt like an are you crazy woman?).

So there you go, if I were to move to a part of the world where there are no pickled Jalapeños, or fresh Jalapeños to pickle, I would bring my own (along with a can of chipotles chiles in adobo sauce and a jar of homemade salsa verde).

When Mimi and David, a couple of our surprised friends, invited us to their house for a homemade Pizza party this coming Saturday I asked “what can I bring, please?”. But then, I couldn’t help but say “instead of the salad… can I bring some homemade pickled Jalapeños?”. Ok, that wasn’t very polite of me..

PIckled Jalapenos 2(Already pickled Jalapeños in their glass jars, ready to go to our friends’ house)

Let me please explain: Pickled Jalapeños may not work with everything, but they do work on an incredible number of things: sandwiches, tortas, quesadillas, as a side to scrambled eggs, enfrijoladas, grilled meats, rice.. I could go on… Oh! My Colombian friend Tamara, just as plenty of Mexicans do, nibbles on them right out of the jar.

The important thing here is that they are spectacular over Pizza. So much that Pizzerias in Mexico typically offer them as an optional topping.

As promised in my last post, here’s my favorite way to pickle your own Jalapeños. They tend to be pickled with other vegetables like onions, garlic and carrots, which is what I typically do. There are other versions that add other ingredients like previously boiled baby potatoes, green beans, cauliflower and cactus paddles… Wonderful as well! Feel free to play with the ingredients that wink an eye to you.

One of the wonderful things about pickling, is that aside from not being complicated, it brings out certain characteristics of the ingredients you are working with in an unusual way and it also prolongs their life in that stage.

This recipe makes a big batch, because they are likely to go fast, and also because since it takes a bit of time to make them, I like to make a bigger amount. They will last ages in the refrigerator if they don’t go as fast as I predict. And next time you eat Pizza, give it a try! If you don’t want to make them, there are many brands in most supermarkets that sell them already canned and delicious.

NOTE: I don’t typically recommend the use of gloves for cooking, but since this recipe involves cleaning quite a few chiles, you may want to use gloves. If you don’t and your hands burn a little, wash them with warm water and soap, or rub them with a spoonful of oil, or soak them in a bit of milk, sour or heavy cream or ice cream. Any of those methods should take care of it, as they help dilute capsaicin the somewhat oily substance which contains the heat in chiles.

Pickled Jalapenos main
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5 from 3 votes

Pickled Jalapeños (with Carrots and Onions too!)

Pickled Jalapeños may not work with everything, but they do work on an incredible number of things: sandwiches, tortas, quesadillas, as a side to scrambled eggs, enfrijoladas, grilled meats, rice.. I could go on… Oh! My Colombian friend Tamara, just as plenty of Mexicans do, nibbles on them right out of the jar. The important thing here is that they are spectacular over Pizza. So much that Pizzerias in Mexico typically offer them as an optional topping.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 d 15 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Recipe, Vegetarian
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds jalapeño chiles rinsed, sliced and seeded
  • 3 pounds carrots peeled and diagonally sliced
  • 1 pound white pearl onions or large scallions white and light green parts only
  • 4 tablespoons kosher or sea salt
  • 15 to 20 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup safflower or corn oil
  • 2 cups white distilled vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 cups unseasoned rice vinegar

Instructions

  • Rinse the jalapeños, remove the stems, slice in half and scoop out the seeds (since they are quite a few chiles to clean you may want to use gloves). Place them in a large mixing bowl. Rinse the carrots, remove their tops, peel and diagonally slice into about 1/4" thick. Place in the large mixing bowl along with the Jalapeños. Peel the pearl onions of the outer dry skin and add into same bowl. Sprinkle all these vegetables with the salt, toss around and let them sit for about an hour.
  • Place the white distilled vinegar in the blender along with the water, peppercorns, cumin seed, whole cloves, bay leaves, thyme, oregano and brown sugar. Puree until smooth.
  • In a large, deep and thick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot, but not smoking, for about 2 minutes. Carefully add the salted vegetables, reserving their juices, and fry for about 6 to 8 minutes, stirring here and there, until they begin to soften. Add the garlic cloves, and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Carefully add the vegetable reserved juices, along with the white distilled vinegar mix and the rice vinegar. Let it all cook for about 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat and let it cool.
  • Place in a container with a lid and store in the refrigerator. I like to use glass jars. For some reason they seem to taste even better. Let the vegetables pickle for at least a day before eating. They will keep for months, if you don't finish them before...

Notes

Jalapeños en Escabeche

Cooked Salsa Verde: Basic Recipe

This is a versatile basic green tomatillo salsa. It can be drizzled on top of Mexican Antojos, such as Tostadas, Tacos, Quesadillas and Sopes… It can also be used to make Green Enchiladas or Chilaquiles. It can be spooned on top of eggs in the morning, used as a side garnish to grilled meats and as the seasoning to bake some fresh flaky fish in the oven. I could go on and on though…. here it goes:

cooked salsa verde
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5 from 5 votes

Cooked Salsa Verde

This is a versatile basic green tomatillo salsa. It can be drizzled on top of Mexican Antojos, such as Tostadas, Tacos, Quesadillas and Sopes… It can also be used to make Green Enchiladas or Chilaquiles. It can be spooned on top of eggs in the morning, used as a side garnish to grilled meats and as the seasoning to bake some fresh flaky fish in the oven. I could go on and on though…. here it goes.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chile, cilantro, garlic, onion, pati's mexican table, Recipe, Salsa, salsa verde, serrano chiles, tomatillos, Vegetarian
Servings: 2 cups
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds green tomatillos husks removed and rinsed
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled
  • 2 serranos chiles or more to taste
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup white onion roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons safflower or corn oil

Instructions

  • Place the tomatillos along with the garlic cloves and the chiles serrranos in a pot and cover with water. Place over high heat until it comes to a boil. Simmer at medium for about 10 minutes, or until tomatillos change their color from a bright to a pale green, are cooked through and are soft but are not coming apart.
  • Place tomatillos, garlic and chile (you may add one chile first) and 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid in the blender and puree until smooth. Incorporate the cilantro leaves, onion and salt and process again. Taste for salt and add more if need be. Also taste for heat, you may add the other chile in pieces until you reach your desired heat level.
  • Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat. Once it is hot but not smoking, pour in the sauce and bring it to a boil. Simmer over medium heat for 6 to 7 minutes, until it thickens a bit and deepens its flavor and color. Turn off the heat.
  • Once it cools down, you may store it in a closed container in the refrigerator for weeks. However, the heat level of the sauce will diminish as the days go by.

Notes

Salsa Verde Cocida