Chipotle, Peanut and Sesame Seed Salsa
This nutty, spicy salsa with the tang of vinegar is from Veracruz, Mexico, where it’s called salsa macha. It has long been a favorite of Pati Jinich, the Mexican-born chef who lives in Washington, D.C. Her version comes together fast, and offers a lot of character and versatility. Use it to liven up roasted vegetables or grilled meats. It’s especially great on lamb chops and skirt steak, or even baked potatoes served with sour cream and cheese. The salsa lasts for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator; the solids will sink to the bottom, leaving a deeply flavored oil that can add a little muscle to sauces or a finishing touch to other dishes. You can use other nuts in place of the peanuts, or a mix of nuts and sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
- Serves: 3 persons
- 1 ½cups olive oil
- ½cup raw unsalted peanuts (or use pecans, hazelnuts or walnuts)
- 4garlic cloves, peeled
- 2tablespoons sesame seeds
- 2ounces dried chipotle chiles (1 1/2 to 2 cups), stemmed and seeded
- 1teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- 1tablespoon brown sugar, or to taste
- 3tablespoons distilled white vinegar
Step 1Heat the oil over medium heat in a 12-inch skillet until it is very hot but not smoking. Add the peanuts and garlic, then cook for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly. The peanuts should just begin to turn color. Be careful to not let them scorch, which can happen quickly.
Step 2Add the sesame seeds and chiles, and continue to stir and fry for a minute or until the chiles are lightly toasted.
Step 3Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the contents, including all of the oil, to a food processor or blender. Add the salt, sugar and vinegar, and blend until almost smooth. (The salsa should be uniform but have a little texture to it.)
Step 4Pour into a container and let cool. Refrigerate the salsa if you are not using it the day you make it.