After tasting this table salsa in a restaurant in Orizaba, my husband and I went to the market to look for the area’s famous comapeño chiles. We decided to split up and go searching in different directions, and he was the one who finally found them at a booth piled high with several kinds of dried chiles. Comapeños are difficult to find outside this region, but by all means substitute pequín, chile de árbol or any small, dried red chile. This sauce is great with grilled chicken or pork, or simply served with tortilla chips. The chiles can be toasted on a comal, griddle or dry pan. Be careful not to scorch them, since this results in a bitter taste.
- 1/3 cup small dried red chiles, lightly toasted and allowed to cool
- 2 large cloves garlic, crushed in a garlic crusher
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup dry roasted peanuts
- 1/3 cup olive oil
Place the chiles, garlic, salt and peanuts in a molcajete or food processor and grind until the peanuts are coarsely crushed.
Slowly pour in the oil and continue grinding until it has been absorbed into the mixture. Taste and add more salt if desired.
Serve with grilled pork or poultry, or with tortilla chips. Makes 1 generous cup.
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