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3 dried chiles de árbol (omit for mild salsa or see Notes)
3 medium tomatoes, stems removed
1/4 medium onion, cut into big chunks
3 serrano peppers (use 1/4 to 1/2 bell pepper for mild salsa)
1 clove garlic, unpeeled
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
- Wash hands with soap and water.
- On a dry skillet on medium heat, grill chiles de árbol until lightly toasted, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
- In a blender, grind the toasted chiles until pieces are small.
- Place vegetables and garlic on the skillet. Grill on medium heat until soft, about 10 minutes. Move around a few times to brown all edges.
- Remove peel from garlic. Add garlic, vegetables, salt and pepper to the blender. Pulse 4 to 5 times, to a thickness you like.
- Move salsa to a bowl. Stir in cilantro and serve.
- Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.
- You can substitute the chile de árbol (dry) for 1/4 teaspoon of ground chile de árbol.
- To reduce the spiciness, use less (or no) chile de árbol.
- No serrano peppers? Use jalapeño peppers or other hot peppers.
- The spiciness of the peppers can vary depending on the growing conditions. Peppers usually have a higher level of heat during hot summer months.
- Chop the leaves and stems of cilantro; all parts are flavorful.
- No blender? Use a knife or grind with a stone, mortar or molcajete.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.