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Old 08-28-2014, 06:59 AM   #1
jeffreywp1
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Default Secrets of Great Salsa

I love spicy food and I love spicy salsa. When I go to Mexican restaurants I always ask for what ever spicy salsa they have. Not all are spicy and not all are good, but there is a flavor that some of them have that I can't seem to duplicate. Its kind of a bacon flavor, that I assume comes from a toasted dried chile. Does anyone know what chile gives this flavor? It isn't chile de arbol because I have toasted that chlie in every way possible and have rarely achieved that flavor.
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Old 08-28-2014, 07:09 AM   #2
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Sure it isn't chipotle? I find that fresh salsa, Pico de Gallo, is best when made with fresh chiles. Serranos are my usual choice, but if I make xnipec salsa (dogs nose), habaneros are used.
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Old 08-28-2014, 07:20 AM   #3
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I also think it's probably chipotle. I keep cans of chipotles in adobo sauce in stock in my pantry. I find that the smoky adobo sauce goes good in ... well, just about anything savory.
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Old 08-28-2014, 07:32 AM   #4
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Two things are important to me with salsa:

Texture -- the tomatoes and onions should be minced into small chunks, but not pureed. Also, some liquid is desireable.

Balance -- I like hot, but the peppers should not overpower the garlic or cilantro.
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Old 08-28-2014, 07:58 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigC View Post
Sure it isn't chipotle? I find that fresh salsa, Pico de Gallo, is best when made with fresh chiles. Serranos are my usual choice, but if I make xnipec salsa (dogs nose), habaneros are used.
I do not think it is chipotles in adobo sauce because I use them regularly. But I have not tried dried chipotle's.
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Old 08-28-2014, 08:06 AM   #6
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Is it cumin? I don't know if people put that in salsa or not, but we put it in about everything.
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Old 08-28-2014, 08:52 AM   #7
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Smoked Paprica?
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Old 08-28-2014, 09:08 AM   #8
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if it's bacon flavor you get, the chile's probably have been smoked or wood fire roasted. why not try experimenting with some yourself. take all your ingredients smoke or roast over hickory as it is hickory that gives the bacon flavor.
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Old 08-28-2014, 09:22 AM   #9
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I've used smoked poblano and jalapenos (chipotles) in my salsas and either will give it the smoky flavor you're describing.
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Old 08-28-2014, 09:27 AM   #10
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To "Round Out" the salsa flavor, or make it more robust, try using chicken bouillon powder or chicken base as your salt component.
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Old 08-28-2014, 09:48 AM   #11
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For years I tried to recreate the restaurant salsa. Then someone told me the secret! Mexican restraunts give that stuff out for free so you know it is inexpensive. The main ingrediant is almost always canned tomatoes. Fresh tomatoes lack the color and the taste. I agree that some chopotles would also give it that smokey bacon flovor youre looking for.
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Old 08-28-2014, 10:45 AM   #12
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Are you talking green or red sauces? I am a big fan on toasting dried chiles (passila, guajillo, arbol, etc) on a hot comal until they blister then throwing them in boiling water before putting them in a blender. It all depends how you want the sauce to taste. For example in a tomatillo salsa blackening the skin on the tomatillos will mellow the acidity of the sauce.

I have never tasted a bacony flavor in salsa. Maybe they pan fry chiles in lard?
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Old 08-28-2014, 10:50 AM   #13
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I always use black pepper to taste, it could be at least part of the bacon flavor.
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Old 08-28-2014, 10:52 AM   #14
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Canned tomatoes are a must, you can try the following recipe with fresh and canned and they are two different flavors altogether. I probably should not be sharing this as it is a family secret and the ingredients are added based on how hot the jalepenos are and what not. We get requests for this recipe all of the time. If you want more heat add your favorite serrano/habanero/ghost/Trinidad scorpion. FYI, this is my Mom's recipe that my wife has down pat, believe me, my mom knows Tex-Mex food.

1 Can Diced Tomatoes (14-15oz)
¼ of medium white onion
1-2 jalapenos (depending on heat level)
½ C Fresh Cilantro (more to taste)
1 TBSP garlic
1 tsp salt
½ TBSP cumin (start with less as it can get bitter)
½ lime squeezed

Quickly blend, but not puree, to your liking.
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Old 08-28-2014, 10:57 AM   #15
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Not sure about the "bacon" flavor, except to say that where I grew up, bacon grease was what was used to fry anything. So, if they are sauteeing onions and garlic, it might be done with a little bacon grease. The others may be onto something with the chipotle for the smokey flavor.

I use the following (I make my red enchilada sauce with it) for that flavor. I also use it in my BBQ sauce and rubs. It was my "secret" ingredient until now. I like BBQ sweet and spicy - this will bring the heat while adding a great red chile flavor.

http://www.chimayotogo.com/pc-67-7-r...owder-579.aspx
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