Chamel’s Salsa

I named this salsa after my sister-in-law, since she’s the one who gave me the recipe.  It is fairly simple to make and a versatile salsa that goes well with all Mexican dishes.  If you can’t find the chile guajillo, you can substitute other dried chiles such as chipotles or ancho chiles.  The taste will be a little different but I tend to use whatever chlies I have on hand and the salsa always comes out great.

RECIPE:

  • 10 dried chiles de arbol
  • 1 dried chile guajillo
  • 5 tomatillos (green tomatoes)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Salt to taste

Cut the stems off the chlies.  As for the seeds, you can use them or take them out, depending on how spicy you want to salsa.  I leave them in and the salsa is pretty hot, exactly how I like it!  If you take them out, I recommend using plastic gloves if you wear contact lenses (I have learned this the hard way…).

Remove the husks from the tomatillos and wash well (they usually have a waxy coating so you can use a fruit/veggie wash or a vinegar/water solution to get it off).

Toast the dried chiles in a cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium heat for a couple of minutes – without oil – until they are charred, turning them periodically so they don’t burn.  Set aside.  They should look something like this or even a little bit more charred:

IMG_1871.JPG

In the same skillet add the whole tomatillos and cook over medium heat, turning them periodically with prongs so they get charred on all sides.  Once they are a dull green, soft and charred, they are ready – it takes about 10-20 minutes.

Before:

IMG_1869.JPG

After:

IMG_1870.JPG

Add the chlies and tomatillos to a blender, along with the garlic, water and salt, and blend until smooth.

Refrigerate what you don’t use in an air-tight container.  The salsa will keep for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator.

Tips:

  1. Look for bright green tomatillos.  You can pull back the husks a little to get an idea. Also try to get all of them around the same size so they cook evenly.
  2. You can add more or less water, depending on how thick you like your salsa.

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