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

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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).

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 Chiles

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 salsa or pickle ingredients

Vegetable oil…

Adding oil to the ancho chile ingredients

Rice and white vinegar, brown sugar and salt…

Adding sugar to ancho chile mixture

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…)!

Complete ancho chile mixture before marinating

 

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 (or Pickle)
Print Recipe
makes about 2 cups salsa Escabeche de Chile Ancho
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
To Prepare
  • 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.
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
To Prepare
  • 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.

 

51 comments on “Ancho Chile Salsa (or Relish, or Pickle, or Viniagrette)!

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  1. I was wondering, do you have to use the rice vinegar? That isn’t something I buy or use. Would doubling the white vinegar or adding cider vinegar work as well? I normally don’t like veering from a recipe, but rice vinegar just isn’t in my kitchen. I would love to try this though!

  2. This recipe is addictive! It’s delicious with everything. This is probably a moot question because it is quickly consumed by my family, but how long will it keep in the ‘frig? Could I can it for long term preservation or would the heat from the canning process alter the flavor?

  3. Saw your show Girls want to have fun and loved this salsa recipe. Went out and shopped and now it’s marinating. Can’t wait to taste it. Will post comment after

  4. How do you clean the outside of ancho chiles before using? The seem dusty and dirty. I Have made this recipes several times now, it’s so good, but I feel like I am washing away a lot of the flavor when I am cleaning the peppers under running water.

  5. Hi, just saw your show for the first time today! It was the “Girls just want to have fun” show and I can’t find the recipe on this site, for the cocktail you served the ladies. Is it somewhere that I haven’t found?
    Thank you, Jean

  6. Hi Pati! I love your recipes, they really help me get more acquainted with the wonders of Mexican cuisine. I have a question about this recipe, do you leave the mixture out to ferment and then place it in the fridge after 8 hours or does it go immediately in the fridge after everything is mixed together?

  7. Pati – This is absolutely delicious! Thank you. I may become addicted to it. 😉 Enjoy your show very much. All the best.

  8. Oh my goodness yes! This is delicious stuff! I can’t wait to try more of your recipes. Thanks Pati!

  9. Hola Pati-
    Thank you so much for all the great recipes and ideas on this site. I’m wondering if you can help me name/get a receta for…taco sauce. That thin, orangey-red, highly addictive stuff that comes on street tacos? Must have the secret!
    Thanks again for everything,
    E.

  10. After only two weeks, I am already making a second bath of the this. My husband watched me make it and laughed at me. And then has put in on everything since then. It is so delicious! Thank you Pati!!!!

    1. Hi, no you don’t, you cut them and mix them with the rest of the ingredients, let them sit and macerate and that’s pretty much it!

  11. I want to try your Ancho Chile Salsa this weekend, it looks absolutely incredible! . I think my boyfriend John love this! I like also your other healthy recipe for diet. Definitely I will add this to my to-make list! Thanks for your great recipes. Good job friend! Keep updating through your cookbook. Nice post indeed. Excellent!

  12. Patti,

    The reason I asked what is a good dish that could compliment this salsa, is because I have been requested to bring “something Mexican” unknown around here, for a big pot luck group. I have no idea what the others are bringing since it each picked a dish from a hat, and were asked not to reveal it to each other.
    Did not mean to upset you

    1. Hola Velia, You didn’t upset me! 😉 You can use it like a regular salsa to top tacos, quesadillas, etc., or as a dip for chips. It also works great as a relish on top of meat and fish dishes, or as a dressing for salads.

  13. Patti, I love your show and your recipes and ideas
    Also adore you accent.
    I’m always looking to find you on the PBS Stations around us.
    Keep up the good work – and good luck!!!

  14. This is the best salsa I’ve made! I always get lots of compliments on it, and it can be used on anything. Easy to make and lasts a good long while too.

    Gracias!