Category Archives: Salsa

Fire Roasted Habanero Salsa

I was asked some time ago what was my favorite chile pepper to use when cooking. At first I was thinking it was the jalapeno as it is more on the mild side and can be tolerated by many, however as I continued to think about it, I thought it was the serrano, or heck even the habanero. There are so many that I do love, including the smoked jalapenos, and as importantly the Thai bird chile pepper. But the habanero is one of those awesome chile peppers that is just loaded with awesome flavor, and heat for that matter. In the past I have only used the habanero in making Jamaican jerk rubs, and even a habanero hot sauce that was completely addicting (and hot). With that in mind, I decided to take that idea of using the habanero and turn it into a fire roasted habanero salsa, plus I wanted to use a handful of tomatoes from my garden. Trust me, this salsa rocks.

Fire Roasted Habanero Salsa

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 whole habanero chilies
  • 1 cup of cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 cup of water

The cool thing about making this salsa is that you cook the vegetables and chilies directly on the coals. The Mexicans have been doing this forever, and it is typically referred to as cooking al carbon. The cooking method instills this awesome flavor that you typically will not get by cooking on your stove top or broiler. Trust me, try this. Folks have even been known to cook meat directly on the hot ashes as well!

Heat your coals until they are all nice and gray. Lay the onion, tomatoes, and habaneros directly onto the coals. Note that the onion will take longer to cook than that of the tomatoes and habaneros. Cook everything until they are completely black and super charred. Once fully charred place them in a bowl and let them cool to the touch.

How to make Fire Roasted Habanero Salsa

Once they are cooled, use the back of your pairing knife and remove the outer skin from each of the items. Don’t worry if you get a bit of ash or char along with the items. You can decide if you want to keep the seeds in tact on the habaneros. I kept two whole, and removed the seeds from the third.

Once the charred skin is removed, add the tomatoes, habaneros, and onion to a food processor. Toss in the garlic, cilantro, salt, and lime juice. Pulse until you have a nice consistency, then start slowly pouring in the water until you have your desired thickness. Taste and adjust with any salt.

The result is just the perfect amount of heat. It does have a kick to it, but the flavor is just out of this world. This stuff is great on just about anything. I was adding it to my omelettes in the morning, using it as a standard chip dip after work, and drizzled on chimichangas. I hope you enjoy and let me know what you think when you decide to cook al carbon!

Mexican Red Sauce

I don’t know about you but we have tomatoes that are just growing off the charts right now. We planted a variety of tomatoes back in May, and now they are finally beginning to ripen. We have bowls of cherry tomatoes, as well as these great roma tomatoes sitting on our kitchen counter right now. In the meantime, I am pulling these great, large tomatoes off of the vine. With that said, I’ve been creating things such as loaded bacon lettuce and tomato sandwiches, simple pico de gallos, and recently came up with this Mexican red sauce.  I’m calling this a sauce because it is so diverse that I have been marinating with it, topping omelettes with it, and well, pretty much using it on a majority of things, including drizzling it on pizza.

Mexican Red Sauce

What turned me on to creating this sauce is some dried chilies I recently purchased, the Puya pepper. After reading Pok Pok, I was interested in the puya pepper as Chef Ricker was using them in his Thai cooking.

The puya chiles have an intense heat that is somewhat pungent and have a light fruity flavor profile with an almost berry flavor. Puya chiles are grown in Mexico, and are somewhat similar to the guajillos chilie. I thought they would be perfect in a sauce, and they were.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large tomato, such as Beefsteak or Better Boy
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 4 puya chilies
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 pinch of cracked black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup water
  • additional water

Start by adding the puya chilies to a skillet, and cook on medium heat, flipping along the way for about 4 minutes. Remove the chilies, and let cool.  Once cooled, slice, and remove the stem and seeds.

Mexican Red Sauce with Eggs

During this time, bring a medium pot of water to a simmer. Add in the tomato and the chilies. Cover, and cook for about 15 minutes.

Remove the tomato and chilies with a slotted spoon, and let cool on a plate.

How to make Mexican red sauce

Add the chilies to a food processor, along with the remaining ingredients. Remove the skin from the tomato. The skin should easily come off.

Pulse until you have a smooth sauce.  Taste and adjust any salt to your liking.

Pour into a large mason jar, and place in the refrigerator until you are ready to use.

This sauce had just the right amount of heat to it. A subtle punch of heat in the beginning, and then that fruitiness from the chilies, along with the garlic and onion. It’s really good. If you are looking to try a new Mexican chili, give the puya a try. I’m certain you will love it. Enjoy!

Cilantro Sauce

Sometimes you have to try and kick yourself when something so easy is so flippin’ good. Last week during the Green Bay Packers game, we had nacho night. We thought we would celebrate game day, as we hoped for a victory, which was not the case, with a nice plate of ‘build your own nachos’. I know how my family rolls when it comes to nachos. The kids are typically a bit of meat and cheese, while my daughter might be just cheese and chips. My wife will load hers with cheese, chips, a bit of meat, avocado, maybe some lettuce and tomato. Me on the other hand? Well, I like to jazz mine up, and load them up with things like beans, onions, cilantro, and some chilies. As I normally just use chopped up sprigs of cilantro, I decided to go another route, and make a cilantro sauce to heavily drizzle throughout the nachos, and whoa, was this stuff ever amazing!

Cilantro Sauce Recipe

Super simple ingredients yields a sauce so awesome that you will be blown away.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro, cleaned
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic (add more or less for garlic intensity)
  • 1/2 tsp salt, to taste
  • 1 pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of water

Add everything to a food process and blend until you have a smooth sauce. Pour into a glass container, and place in the refrigerator until you are ready to use. When you are ready to use, give a gentle shake, and spoon onto whatever you desire.

How to make cilantro sauce

I’ve been using this sauce on everything from eggs at breakfast, to salads, and even drizzling on sandwiches.

This cilantro sauce is bright, and intense in flavor. You get that awesome punch of garlic cilantro flavor in every bite. I hope you enjoy!

Cilantro Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Sauce
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro, cleaned
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic (add more or less for garlic intensity)
  • ½ tsp salt, to taste
  • 1 pinch of cayenne pepper
  • ¾ cup of olive oil
  • ¼ cup of water
Instructions
  1. Add everything to a food process and blend until you have a smooth sauce. Pour into a glass container, and place in the refrigerator until you are ready to use. When you are ready to use, give a gentle shake, and spoon onto whatever you desire.
  2. I've been using this sauce on everything from eggs at breakfast, to salads, and even drizzling on sandwiches.
  3. This cilantro sauce is bright, and intense in flavor. You get that awesome punch of garlic cilantro flavor in every bite. I hope you enjoy!

 

Jalapeño Hot Sauce

Over the past fifteen years or so, I have become a really big fan of spicy food. I typically eat spicier than many folks around me. I love spicy Thai, Mexican, and Chinese food to say the least and I typically steer towards ordering a spicier dish if I am going out to eat. There is something about the heat, when done right, that enhances the flavor of the dish. This salsa could be one of the best I’ve created in the last few years. Sure, I’ve made a variety of Mexican-style salsas such as a Thai salsa, a Thai dipping sauce, even a habanero hot sauce and serrano hot sauce. I have no clue as to why I have left out the idea of making a jalapeño hot sauce, so it was my turn to make something amazing, and wow, was this one ever awesome.

jalapeño Hot Sauce

As I have an abundance of jalapeño peppers growing in my garden, I figured I had to use them up, and hence the idea for this sauce. Trust me on this, you will be spooning it on everything. It’s really that good.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 5 whole jalapeño peppers, stems removed
  • 2 whole tomatillos, cut in half, husks discarded
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 2 tbsp distilled vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • salt, to taste

Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees.

Add the jalapeños and tomatillos to a baking sheet.  Place in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until lightly roasted.

Using tongs, carefully place those into a blender or food processor. Add in the garlic, water, lime juice, sugar, and vinegar. Season with about 1/2 tsp salt to start.

Blend until the sauce is thinned out. You are not going for a thick sauce here. Add a bit more water to get it to the consistency of a ‘taco’ sauce.

Taste and season with any additional salt. Pour into a air tight container and let cool before covering. This can sit in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks, if not longer.

The flavor of this jalapeño hot sauce is spectacular. It has just the right amount of heat, meaning, I was not sweating at first bite, nor did it kill my palette when serving it alongside breakfast, lunch, and dinner items.  This very well could be one of my favorite sauces that I’ve made thus, so I hope you enjoy.