Salsa Borracha

In preparation for this year’s Día de la Independencia de México (Sept. 16) I wanted to try a new salsa recipe, Salsa Borracha, from Chef Margarita Carrillo Aaronte’s book Mexico: The Cookbook.

Salsa Borracha is a unique dish that has many different variations, but Chef Margarita’s recipe is composed of pasilla chiles, onion, garlic, orange juice, pulque, and queso añejo. After your first glance as well as your initial taste you’ll be wondering what is this peculiar salsa, but just give it a few seconds…because a magnitude of addictive flavors will consume your mouth. A bit of heat and smokiness from the pasillas, sweetness from the orange juice, a gritty taste and texture from the parmesan-like queso añejo, all mixed together with the sharpness of the pulque. This may seem like a strange combination of ingredients, but after a few bites you’ll gain appreciation for how well they all work together.

Pulque is an alcoholic drink (think of it like a cousin to tequila) made from fermented maguey plant. The drink originates from Central Mexico and dates back for thousands of years. Pulque has a milk-like color and has a thicker texture than tequila. It can be hard to find outside of Mexico, so Margarita’s Salsa Borracha recipe suggests using a combination of beer and tequila in place of the pulque. Another chef that I have a lot of respect for, Marcela Valladolid, suggests using golden tequila for the Salsa Borracha. I ended up going with the golden tequila as I had a hard time finding pulque.

The combination of the golden tequila and the pasilla chiles compliment each other well in this salsa. Pasilla chiles, also known as chile negros, are the dried version of chilaca peppers. They are often mistaken as ancho chiles, which are actually dried poblano peppers. Pasillas aren’t the hottest of peppers, but do provide some heat as well as a smokey and bitter flavor.

Salsa Borracha would be a great addition for any celebration as a snack or topping. I’m planning to use it as an enchilada sauce on Thursday. I’m going to have queso fresco inside my rolled corn tortillas, soaked in Salsa Borracha, with queso anejo and cilantro sprinkled across the top. Aside from the salsa’s special taste, its a fun recipe to make and a great conversation starter when you tell your guests what ingredients are included in the dish.

Salsa Borracha is one many great recipes in Chef Margarita’s Mexico The Cookbook. In fact, the cookbook is 700 pages full of traditional Mexican recipes from throughout the country. One of my favorite parts of this book is how Margarita mentions the region that each recipe originated from in Mexico. If you love mole, Margarita’s Mole Zacatecano recipe is one of the best meals I’ve ever had.

Below is a link to Margarita’s cookbook where you can find the recipe for Salsa Borracha as well as many other great dishes!

Mexico: The Cookbook – Margarita Carrillo Arronte

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