Cooked Tomatillo Salsa with de Arbol Chiles

De Arbol (Capsicum Annuum) means tree like in Spanish. The plant has thick, upright, woody stems and the chile itself is narrow, curved and bright red in color. Believed to be closely related to the pequin, the De Arbol is thin fleshed, with tannic, smoky, grassy flavor and searing heat. This chile has a heat range of 7.5 on the heat scale of 1-10. De Arbol Chiles are comparable to a Cayenne Pepper. Scoville heat units 15,000 to 30,000.

Suggested Use:
De Arbol is a hot chile and a staple in Southwest kitchens. Add some heat to your next salsa or Mexican dish. Be adventurous and add them to your next stew or chili along with the other spices. Add some heat to your next salsa or Mexican dish.

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1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
3-4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
3-4 Arbol, chiles finely chopped (approximately 1 Tbsp.)
1 pound drained cooked or canned tomatillos
1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves, chopped


Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet or saucepan over medium high heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is transparent. Add the chiles and cook for one minute more. Add the tomatillos, then pour in the broth and add the sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and gently simmer uncovered for thirty minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool. Taste for salt and adjust if necessary. You can either mash the tomatillos with a fork to produce a coarse-textured salsa, or transfer the sauce to a food processor or blender to be briefly processed to a smooth texture. Transfer the sauce to a serving dish and just before serving, stir in the coriander leaf.

Recipe from Alford and Duguid.