This mellow salsa is made with ancho chiles, which are dried poblano chiles. The chiles are prepared and cooked with tomatoes and tart tomatillos. This is a good all-around salsa that will enhance the flavor of almost any dish. A rich tomato flavor is important in this salsa, so when tomatoes are out of season, Jesús will often substitute good-quality canned tomatoes.
Note: Be sure to use Mexican oregano, which has a milder taste than Mediterranean varieties.
See Deborah Schneider preparing her ancho chile salsa in this CHOW Tip.
This recipe was featured as part of our Nacho Recipes photo gallery.
- Yield: 2 1/2 cups
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 3 small garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 2 dried ancho chiles, seeded and torn into pieces
- 3 dried guajillo or California chiles, seeded and torn into pieces
- 2 Roma tomatoes, cored, seeded, and roughly chopped
- 4 large green tomatillos, husks removed, washed, and roughly chopped
- 2 cups water or basic vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh Mexican oregano, or 1 tablespoon dried (see note)
- Fresh cilantro (12 sprigs), about 1/2 cup, stemmed and chopped
- In a 10-inch sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and dried chiles, and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft and you can smell the chiles.
- Add the tomatoes and tomatillos, reduce the heat slightly, and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the water or stock, 1 teaspoon of salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes.
- Stir in the oregano, cool for a few minutes, puree the sauce in a blender until smooth, then stir in the cilantro.