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Recipes: 'The Secrets of Salsa'

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Get more cookbook suggestions from food writer Heidi Swanson.

Food writer Heidi Swanson recommends this bilingual cookbook written by Mexican women living in Anderson Valley in northern California.

Toasted Sesame Salsa

This is a hot and fiery red chili salsa with smoky undertones and a distinct Asian flavor. It originates from a restaurant in Uruapan called La Pachita and is a traditional salsa that accompanies pozole and other Mexican dishes. It can serve as both an accompanying sauce or a marinade.

30 chilies de arbol (dried red chilies)

2/3 cup cooking oil

1/2 clove garlic

3 tsps. sesame seeds, toasted

salt to taste

Toast sesame seeds (white or brown) in a hot, dry frying pan. Keep shaking the frying pan until seeds are lightly toasted, about 2-3 minutes, set aside.

Finely chop the chilies de arbol and garlic. Heat the oil until very hot, then add chilies, garlic, and sesame seeds and cover. Cook for one minute. Turn off heat. Let cool. Blend all ingredients on high in blender. Salt to taste. Do not refrigerate. This salsa will last for two to three weeks.

Recipe from The Secrets of Salsa, recipe by Camelia Roldan & Arcelia Saucedo

Marinated Lemon Habanero Salsa

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This salsa is rooted in Mayan culture and is traditionally called “Xnipec" which means “nose of the dog.” Seriously, use just a touch of this intensely hot salsa on just about anything that comes off the grill. It has a nice kick of lemon that compliments the blistering heat and frutiness of the habanero.

6 habanero chilies (orange or yellow)

2 large onions

juice of 4 lemons

1/8 tsp. black pepper

salt to taste

Note: Use a glass bowl. Do not use stainless steel because it reacts with the lemon.

Chop the chilies and onions into very fine pieces and put them into the glass bowl. Stir in lemon juice and toss to coat. Cover bowl and let mixture marinate overnight in the refrigerator. The next day add the salt and pepper and mix well.

Recipe from The Secrets of Salsa, recipe by Laura Espinosa

Books Featured In This Story

Secrets of Salsa / Secretos De La Salsa

A Bilingual Cookbook

by Kira Brennan, Julia Alvarez, Mexican Women of Anderson Valley and Anderson Valley Adult School

Hardcover, 65 pages |


Buy Featured Book

Secrets of Salsa / Secretos De La Salsa
A Bilingual Cookbook
Kira Brennan, Julia Alvarez, et al

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