This chile pepper gets its name from its origin. In Spanish, serrano is an adjective meaning “from the mountains” which is where it originated-in the mountains of Hildalgo, Mexico. The serrano is normally about twice as hot as Jalapeno (about 10,000 to 15,000 Scoville units). It is the second most popular chile pepper in Mexico. This chile is used mostly for salsas but can also be used in soups, sauces, chili or stews. Try these as a hotter substitute for Jalapeno.
1 pound plum tomatoes, cored, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
2 serrano chiles, seeded, minced
1 medium white onion, minced (about 1 cup)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Tortilla chips (for serving)
Yield: Makes 3 cups.
Combine tomatoes and chiles in a medium bowl. Place minced onion in a strainer and rinse under cold water for 10 seconds. Drain well and add to bowl with tomatoes. Stir in cilantro and lime juice. Season with salt. Serve with tortilla chips.
DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill (salsa will get hotter the longer it sits).