Thursday, April 25, 2013

Chile de Arbol Hot Sauce

  Have I mentioned that I like (love) Mexican food yet?  And that I will cook Mexican food at the drop of a hat, or request from my husband?   Or just whenever I feel like adding some spice to my life.

  One of the hardest things about living here has been the lack of Mexican Restaurants that have the kind of Mexican food I'm used to.   And as you can see from my posts, I've managed to compensate quite well, for the most part.   We eat a lot of Mexican themed meals, and I've learned to make them to our taste.   One of the dishes I've missed the most though, is the Hot Sauce, served with a basket of chips at restaurants like El Rancho Grande or La Frontera in SL.    I did see this recipe on  Tasty Kitchen, at the Pioneer Woman website and it looked like it might be close to what I was craving. 

THIS IS ME JUMPING UP AND DOWN AND GOING   YIPPEE!!!!!  As I stuff chips slathered with this wonderful red sauce into my mouth, excuse the mumbling, mmmmmm.  

Sorry, I'll sit down now and finish.        The list of ingredients were all stuff I was able to get locally, so I got them and tried it.   I couldn't get enough Tomatillo's  that looked good, so I just cut down how much Chile De Arbol's I put in.   Figuring if it didn't work, oh well, at least I tried.   Yeah, it worked, it worked and I've been Hot Saucing everything the past few days.
Doesn't this look pretty? All snuggled together in the pan.

Chile de Arbol Hot Sauce

12 fresh whole Tomatillo's, husk removed and washed. 
1 cup water, may add more as needed  (you will need to add more, but try it as written first).
1 whole white onion, quartered
3 whole garlic cloves
1 bag (about 30 Dried Chilies) Dried Chili de Arbol,  about a handful and a half.   (I used a handful because I could only find 8 really good looking Tomatillo's
1 tbsp. Salt, or more as needed
1 tsp. Ground Cumin (I used a touch more, I like Cumin)
Juice of one lime
Tomato Paste

Take the husk off the tomatillo's and wash them, then place them in a skillet with the water, the quartered onions, and garlic.  Heat at about medium heat.
While that's heating, open the chile's and break off the stem end and place them in the pot with the tomatillo's, onions and garlic.  (Next time I make this and there will be a next time, I'm going to do the chile's first, soaking them in hot water and then add that to the pan and let them cook that way, I want the chile's to be a little more soft).    Keep an eye on them, and check for doneness.   You actually want the tomatillo's to be a little browned, I just kept turning them, and putting the chile de arbol's back into the water.   I added some water after about 20 minutes, as it was getting a little dry.   You also want the onions cooked, but not browned.  After I took everything out of the skillet, I added about 1/4 cup of water, and swirled that around in the pan to take the fond off.   (Fond is that stuff left behind when you brown meat or veggies, just think of it as concentrate).    Take them off the heat and place in a blender and whirl them up till it's all combined.    Add the salt, cumin and lime juice.    (Next time, I will process the chile's first to break them down, then add the tomatillo's and the onions.)
Fresh out of the blender

I tasted it at this point and decided it was missing something.   I added some more salt and then took part of the sauce aside, threw it back in the blender with a couple of Roma Tomato's, a handful of fresh Cilantro, and processed it some more.

Ready for taste testing

I also had my official taste tester check it out.   We both agreed it was missing something, he suggested some tomato paste to thicken it, so I dumped a couple tbsp. of  my favorite Tomato Paste  in there and we tasted it again.  This time, perfection.

See the little flecks of cilantro in there?
On the left, the original sauce, on the right, with cilantro added in it.

If you're a fan of hot sauce, this is a great one, and easy to make. 
Sidsel Munkholm - Author
Sidsel Munkholm - Author

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.

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