Morita Salsa

Morita chiles are red, fully mature Chipotles. This gives them a unique, medium – hot smokey flavor which is popular in many Southwestern dishes. These can be added to sauces (including Mole) to add smokey flavor and maintain the red color of the sauces. These peppers are about 2-4 inches in length, 1 inch in width, and have a deep brick reddish brown color. The word Chipotle translated to smoked chile. Consider the Chipotle a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the hottest). Scoville heat units 7,000-25,000.

Suggested Use:
Use Morita in enchilada sauces, chili, stews, barbecue ribs, and corn bread. Their smoky quality combines well with poultry, meats and fall squash.

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5 ripe roma tomatoes, halved, divided
½ large onion, halved
4 large cloves of garlic, peeled
6 morita (chipotle) chiles, de-stemmed
1 tbs. ground cumin
¼ cup white vinegar
⅓ cup vegetable oil
salt to taste

Rehydrate the moritas by placing them in a microwave safe dish with enough water to cover. Microwave for 90 seconds then set aside.

Coat a non-stick pan with vegetable oil and bring to medium high heat. When the oil shimmers, add four halved tomatoes flat face down, onion, and garlic to the pan. Sear until slightly charred. When the tomatoes are golden, flip them over to char the skin slightly. Stir onions and garlic occasionally. When the tomato skins wrinkle, transfer everything to a food processor. Remove the moritas from the water and add them to the food processor. Add the cumin and vinegar. Blend until completely smooth. Put the mixture back in your pan and cook on medium low heat to reduce the liquid, about 20–30 minutes, stirring frequently.

When your mixture is paste-like, place it back in the food processor and blend in the last tomato you set aside. Keep the food processor running and drizzle the oil through the top to emulsify. Add salt to taste. If the salsa is still too thick, add some water. The desired consistency should resemble heavy whipping cream. Use immediately. Refrigerate any unused salsa for around a month, perhaps longer (trust your nose).

Yields one pint, plus a little extra.