Salsa Roja

These chiles will add a deep, nutty flavor to dishes and are great to use in salsas and sauces. It is a medium-hot chile that is good in soups, stews, sauces and sausage.

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2 oz. cascabel chiles
2 oz. morita chiles
2 oz. guajillo chiles
5 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. of corn oil
1/2 onion, cut in half
2-1/2 pounds tomatillos, husked and washed
salt to taste


Remove the seeds from the chiles and make a slice down the length of each, then unfold the pepper.

On a very hot skillet, toast the chiles for 5-10 seconds on each side, pressing down with a spatula until the pepper darkens a bit and the fragrance is released. Soak the peppers in water to cover for about 20 minutes to soften then remove and save the water.

Toss the garlic in oil and, under the broiler, roast them along with the onion wedges and tomatillos.

Blend all the ingredients, adding some water (use the chile soaking water) as necessary, then add salt to taste.

Recipe from the July 2007 issue of Chicago Magazine.