Whenever I want a salsa with some more fire to it, I look to habaneros. They are super hot, but I find it doesn’t linger and really gives a great flavor to a salsa. They are now one of my favorite peppers.
So, my go to used to be this salsa chiltomate from the BBQ Bible. Basically it was roasted tomatoes and peppers and then blend them down. Then I found this recipe from Chili Pepper Madness and I found it had even more flavor…the difference being that it is basically cooking down the tomatoes, peppers, onions, and garlic, really melding the flavors.
The only difference when I make it is I like to add a little mango to the recipe right at the end which cools it off a little bit and freshens it up I think even more…enough that you can even eat it as is just with chips and not completely scorch your mouth.
Anyway, the ingredients are here:
- Habanero peppers
- Yellow Onion
- Olive oil
- Lime Juice
- Orange juice
- Black Pepper
For the how to, follow the Chili Pepper Madness recipe and then right at the end add in some mango (don’t cook it down) and give it all few pulses on the blender…not too much, so you leave some decent chunks of mango in it. Or change it up…peaches or maybe even pineapple might work.
There is a groovy little Mexican restaurant in Austin that I used to get to quite regularly if for nothing else to indulge in their Creamy Jalapeno Cilantro Dip. I’ve wanted to try and replicate it for 20 years and never really got close, but found a few possible variations on it online and then tried to make it lower calorie. The result is pretty fantastic and it can be just a dip for chips or as I like to do slather it on tacos, bowls, etc. Here we go:
- Fat Free Greek Plain Yogurt (If you don’t mind the calories go with 3/4 sour cream and 1/4 mayo instead)
- Lime/Lemon Juice
- Pickled Jalapeno
- Dry Ranch Dressing Mix
Mix in 1 Cup of yogurt, juice of one lemon, ½ Cup of cilantro, 8-10 pickled jalapenos (adjust for heat you want), ¼ bag of dry ranch dressing mix. Throw it all in the blender and adjust to taste.
If you haven’t figured this out already, I am a massive fan of Steven Raichlen’s BBQ Bible book. So, I have hijacked that which I like and tried to make it my own. For this Steak from Hell recipe, the steaks are fine, but the salsa is amazing and easy. I’ve changed it up slightly below:
- 2 to 4 dried chiles de arbol (I use more, but I like it hot) – they come in a bag at any Mexican grocery store and keep forever
- 2 large ripe tomatoes (I use tomatoes on the vine, but whatever you like)
- 1/3 medium-sized yellow onion
- 3 tablespoons cilantro
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- Salt and black pepper
- 2-3 cloves garlic
Soak the chiles in a bowl of warm water about 20 minutes. Roast the tomatoes on the grill until the skin is charred and blistered on all sides, maybe 6 – 8 minutes. Drain the chiles and remove the seeds if you prefer a bit milder. Place all ingredients in a blender and process to a coarse paste.
I love this with the Sprout’s pollo asado and Costco tortillas I put on My Favorite “Holy Crap, That’s Good” Off the Shelf Items page and some avocado or just drizzled over some scramble eggs for breakfast…blam!