Friday, January 10, 2014

Cascabel - Guajillo Salsa

My stepbrother and I are definitely chili-heads. When it comes to our meals, there's almost nothing we won't doctor up with hot sauce, salsa or any manner of peppers. However, while he's the type to go with the "more is more" philosophy of basically blowing his head off with the hottest peppers he can find, I like my heat with substance, a flavour profile that actually makes me want to keep eating it - not simply something that makes me sweat.

Cascabel - Guajillo SalsaThis summer (like all summers!) we were up to our eyeballs in tomatoes - never a bad thing, mind you, but the sheer gluttony of them was beyond our max fresh eating capacity. I took that opportunity not only to make my yearly stash of "sundried" tomatoes in the dehydrator, but to make a host of different cannable options for later enjoyment (and Christmas gifts) - one of them being this three-pepper, two tomato salsa.

I was inspired to make this zingy blend after a trip into downtown Toronto's Kensington Market netted me a few bags of assorted dried peppers and a hefty sack of juicy limes (FYI if you're in the area and need anything Hispanic, Perola and Emporium Latino are godsends!). With a couple cloves of garlic and of course, my garden's tomatoes (both fresh and dried) I headed to the kitchen. It was done and (mostly) canned lickety-split, after I set aside an "immediate use" jar that became the dip of choice for BBQ crudites, the medium for my mom's poached eggs and a topper for rice and burgers. I'm dreading the fact that we're down to the last couple spoonfuls - it was one of the most complex salsas I've ever had, and now July seems even further away!

Shared with Wellness Weekend, Waste Not Want Not Wednesday and Gluten Free Fridays

Cascabel - Guajillo Salsa
Makes 4 cups, 16 (1/4 cup) servings
4 dried guajillo chilies, chopped roughly
4 dried cascabel chilies, chopped roughly
10 sundried tomato halves
7 medium tomatoes, halved
1 tbsp jalapeno pepper powder
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp kosher salt
⅓ cup lime juice
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high and add the chili pieces. Toast until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  2. Pour into a small bowl and add the sundried tomatoes.
  3. Cover the peppers and sundried tomatoes with boiling water, cover and let stand 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the broiler to high and line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
  5. Spread the tomatoes out in one layer and broil for 10 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Set aside.
  6. Drain the soaking mixture, reserving ¼ cup of the liquid, and add the chilies and dried tomatoes to a food processor with the tomatoes, jalapeno powder, garlic and salt.
  7. Pulse to chop finely, but do not puree - this is a “rustic” salsa.
  8. Pour the mixture into a large pot and add reserved chili-soaking liquid.
  9. Bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the lime juice.
  10. Ladle into jars and process in a waterbath for 20 minutes.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 21.4
Total Fat: 0.2 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 76.1 mg
Total Carbs: 4.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.0 g
Protein: 0.8 g