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Old 03-02-2005, 08:15 AM   #1
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Arbol Chile Salsa

Arbol Chile Salsa

Although it is called a salsa, this recipe is very thin, like a sauce. It is excellent spooned over just about any kind of grilled meat.

1/4 Cup corn oil
6 arbol chiles -- with seeds
8 tomatillos -- husked
1 Small clove garlic -- minced
1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro -- coarsely chopped
1/2 Cup water
1/3 Cup white onion -- finely diced
1/8 Teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 Teaspoon Mexican oregano -- toasted and ground
1/8 Teaspoon cumin -- toasted

In northern Mexico and south Texas, this brick-red salsa is slathered over all kinds of meats and cheeses. In fact, this style of salsa became so popular that variations (like Tabasco sauce) are bottled for sale worldwide. Try this version for its complex and cleansing heat.

Heat the corn oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Fry the chiles, 1 or 2 at a time, until puffed and brown, about 10 seconds. Do not burn or they will taste bitter. Shake off excess oil from chiles and place in a food processor.

Put the tomatillos in a small saucepan, cover with water, and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. The tomatillos will have changed color and be soft but still whole.

Add the tomatillos to the food processor along with the garlic. Process until finely chopped. Add the cilantro and water and continue to process until smooth. Add the onion, salt, oregano, and cumin and pulse to mix. Keeps, tightly covered, about 3 days in the refrigerator.

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