Roasted Tomatillo-Habanero Salsa

This Caribbean pepper is famous for being the hottest chile pepper in the world. They come in a variety of shapes and colors (yellow, orange, green, red, chocolate). Not only are they extremely hot, but they also have a unique, distinctively fruity flavor. It is the key ingredient in the popular Jamaican Jerk sauce. The habanero is also widely used in many different types of hot sauces. The popularity of this chile pepper continues to grow and is becoming easier to find on the grocery shelf.

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10 tomatillos
2 Habanero peppers
6 chile California or guajillo peppers (dried)
4 cloves garlic, leave skins on
Juice of 1 orange
Juice of 1 lime


1. Remove the seeds and stems from the dried chile California, and tear the peppers into pieces. Transfer to a glass bowl, cover with water and cook in the microwave for 5 minutes. Remove from microwave, stir and set aside.

2. Line a heavy skillet or saute pan with foil paper and preheat to medium heat. While the pan is heating, remove the husks from the tomatillos and wash off. Lay the tomatillos, garlic and Habanero peppers in preheated pan, drizzle with a little canola oil. Cook for the next 15 to 20 minutes, turning as needed. Remove the garlic after 15 minutes, so it doesn’t burn. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

3. Drain the water from the dried chiles, transfer to the blender, along with all remaining ingredients, removing the skins from the garlic and stems from Habaneros. Add about 1½ teaspoons of salt, blend until smooth, taste for salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Note: You can also roast the veggies in a 400-degree oven or on an outdoor grill. I prefer to roast mine on the stove top because I think you get more of a smokey, roasted flavor.