Chile de Arbol y Ancho Salsa

Are you the person at the restaurant salsa bar who gets really excited when you find the deep red, spicy salsa to add to your Mexican food? Yeah, me too. I just love a picante salsa chock full of dried chile de arbol peppers, with savory add-ins like garlic and onion, and a boost of fresh twist of lime and cilantro. 

That stuff is pure heaven. I swear, I could drink it. Unfortunately, that isn’t acceptable restaurant behavior … so I hold myself back. But here’s the great news: you can easily and quickly make your favorite spicy salsa at home. This recipe makes a good-sized portion, and you can top everything you love with it for a few days. You could even drink it. Nobody has to know what goes on behind doors. 


2 dried ancho peppers

.5 oz. dried chile chile de arbol peppers

4 c. hot, just-boiled water

1 Tbsp. olive oil

3 c. onions, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

¼ cilantro leaves, chopped

Juice from one lime

Salt to taste

Remove the stems and seeds from the dried chiles. 

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and toast the peppers lightly for about a minute. This helps to release flavors, but don’t let them toast for too long because they can become bitter. 

Place the peppers in the hot, just-boiled water and allow them to soak and soften for about 20 minutes. The chile de arbol won’t soften as much as the anchos, and that’s normal. 

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat and cook the onions for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute. 

Remove from the heat and add to a food processor. Add the peppers to the food processor, along with cilantro and lime juice. Process until smooth. Add salt and process again to taste. Enjoy!

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