Some of the best food I have ever made has been because of a mistake. That’s right. A mistake.
Though I thought I made a good salsa, I learned a few tricks and techniques to making a terrific salsa during this adventure and even got to meet Iliana de la Vega, Latin Cuisine Specialist at the Culinary Institute of America in San Antonio and chef/owner of Austin’s most prolific and well-supported Mexican food truck, el naranjo. (Hailing from Oaxaca, this lady can cook and I cannot wait to sample her hometown culinary treasures this side of the border…)
I thought 10 serrano peppers were a tad too many, even for a chilanga like me (someone from Mexico City, DF), and the grocery store I went to did not have the exact chiles the recipe called for, but they did have dried cascabels and ancho peppers, so I bought those instead.
The salsa ended up being a major hit. I took it to a Christmas party and it disappeared in minutes with the guests asking me all about the salsa, how I made it and if I brought more.
The Cowgirl Gourmet (http://www.thecowgirlgourmet.blogspot.com/)
This salsa is a version I came up with when I didn’t have all the ingredients for a recipe. And it turned out way better than we thought possible. It’s full of flavor, but not overly spicy. ¡Que sabroso!
The secret to this salsa is that it uses three different cooking processes which gives an incredible depth of flavor. Boiling, sauteeing and dry roasting. It’s worth the effort. I promise. You’ll never buy salsa again and you’ll impress even the most accomplished cook with your homemade salsa.
5 serrano peppers
Approximately 1.5 oz. dried cascabel chiles, about 6
Approximately 1.5 oz. dried ancho chiles, about 5
2 Tablespooons vegetable oil
4 cloves of garlic
10 oz. chopped onion
Kosher salt to taste
Remove the husks of the tomatillos. They will have a tacky feel to them, so rinse them well along with the serrano peppers.
|A dehusked tomatillo|
In a medium sauce pan, cover the tomatillos and serranos with water and bring to a boil. Cook about 10 minutes or until everything softens. As the tomatillos cook, the color will change to a dull, darker green. Do not let the tomatillos split.
|Cooked tomatillos and serranos|