Bikes and BBQ

Red Salsa Attempt One

My favorite salsa in town is the red salsa from Tacos Por Favor. I’ve been making sure to get takeout from TPF frequently and every time I order, I get a catering container of the salsa and put it on pretty much everything for the next week or so. I’ve been curious if I could make it myself.

I suspected that it was going to most likely be something along the lines of this recipe for K’uut Bi Ik. Seville oranges are available at the farmer’s market right now (from JJ’s Lone Daughter Ranch), so I can even try it as listed rather than with the substitution of a mix of Lime, Grapefruit and Orange juices. I love Seville oranges, they’re really a unique citrius flavor, incredibly tart, almost towards bitter, but with a distinct, strong orange flavor. I was happy I could use them for my first crack at this.

Seville orangesI juiced the oranges and set them aside. The garlic and the chiles needed to be roasted, so I took the opportunity to get a fire going in the fire pit and sit outside for a while. I roasted the garlic first, until the skins were well blackened, then set the garlic aside.

Roasting the garlic Next the chiles needed to be roasted. I used the recipe’s suggestion of Ancho and Morita chiles. The morita chiles really puffed up and lightened as they roasted. Morita chile pre-roasting Morita chile post-roasting

The Anchos really just browned/blackened. Ancho chile roast

After all the chiles had been roasted, they all went into the orange juice to soak for a while. While they soaked, I peeled the burnt peels off the garlic, and tossed the cloves into the juice. After about 20 minutes, it all went into a blender.

Soaking the chiles Once I blended, I really thought it was way too thin. I ended up roasting at least another 50% worth of chiles, soaking them in the salsa in the blender, and reblending. By then, it was too thick. I wonder if the chiles were continuing to soak up the liquid after blending and further thickening, and I wonder if I had left the proportions as called for it might have thickened up sufficiently after some time. I’ll try that next time.

My salsa vs TPF salsa You can see here that the salsa I made is significantly thicker than the TPF salsa. The flavor was different also: My salsa was spicy and sour, not much else. The garlic didn’t really seem to come through. And as much as I love seville oranges, I think that the notes of lime in TPF’s salsa really brighten the flavor. I may go with Seville and Lime next time, plus double the garlic and maybe also add some onion.

I also think I want to adjust the mix of chiles. Anchos are hot, and I think this had more heat than I prefer. I’ll still use some, but might substitute a more mild chile to tone down the heat just a bit. But this is fun, I’m looking forward to my next attempt.