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Salsa Rojo

September/October 2008

Your rating: None Average: 4 (31 votes)

Here's a homemade version of the tomato salsa served at taco stands and burrito joints everywhere. Try it with all your favorite Mexican foods—it even works as enchilada sauce.



READER'S COMMENT:
"I think it would be better to not add the garlic until the onions are cooked to soft stage. The garlic can become bitter if cooked too long. "
Salsa Rojo Recipe

Makes: About 3 cups

Active Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 medium chile peppers, such as poblano, New Mexico or Anaheim, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, diced (about 4 1/2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder, or chili powder (see Shopping Tip)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

Preparation

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, chile peppers and garlic and cook, stirring, until the onion is soft and beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, salt and cayenne. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have broken down and thickened slightly, 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. Carefully transfer the tomato mixture to a food processor or blender. Pulse to make a chunky sauce, or until desired consistency. (Use caution when pureeing hot ingredients.)
  4. Let cool to room temperature, about 11/2 hours. Stir in cilantro and lime juice just before serving.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 3. Cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze in an airtight container for up to 6 months. Stir in cilantro and lime juice just before serving.
  • Shopping tip: Ancho chile, a dried poblano pepper, is one of the most popular dried chiles used in Mexico. It has a mild, sweet, spicy flavor. Find ground ancho chili powder in the specialty spice section of large supermarkets.

Nutrition

Per 1/2-cup serving: 67 calories; 3 g fat (0 g sat, 2 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrates; 2 g protein; 3 g fiber; 409 mg sodium; 393 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (80% daily value), Vitamin A (30% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2

Exchanges: 1 1/2 vegetable, 1/2 fat


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