Using two kinds of chiles creates the depth in this salsa. The dried arbol chiles add a vivid pop of heat, and the jalapeños contribute a freshness that's perfect with tomatoes. The salsa comes from Barbara Mozqueda, a San Francisco cook who with her husband, Vidal, hosts big backyard parties. The salsa is excellent with Vidal's Carne Asada with Nopales and Spring Onions.
This recipe goes with: Carne Asada with Nopales and Green Onions
1 pound firm-ripe tomatoes (2 medium)
2 jalapeño chiles
2 chiles de árbol* or other small dried hot red chile
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 to 2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons packed cilantro leaves
How to Make It
Heat a heavy medium frying pan over medium-high heat until hot. Cook tomatoes and jalapeños until blistered and charred on all sides, turning as needed, 9 to 10 minutes. Add chiles de árbol and cook, turning, just until fragrant, about 15 seconds.
Transfer tomatoes to a blender. Let chiles cool, then discard stems and peel off a little of the blackened skins. Add chiles to blender with garlic, onion, 2 tsp. salt, and 6 tbsp. water. Whirl until fairly smooth. Add cilantro and whirl just to blend. Season with more salt to taste.
*Find at Latino markets and well-stocked grocery stores.
Make ahead: Up to 1 day, chilled.
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