Salsa Roja

My version made with three guajillos, three árbols, three New Mexico reds, and a few chiltepins. Its not as spicy as you would think, as its balanced out nicely with cilantro, roasted onions, garlic, a red bell pepper, and ground cloves. This came about because I was out of salsa earlier in the week and decided to use what I had available in my kitchen and garden.

I always keep a wide assortment of dried chiles in jars for moments like these. The salsa goes great with just about anything. That night I used it with carne asada and vegetables, but also used it throughout the week to snack on and for breakfast with eggs.

3 New Mexico Red Chiles
3 Guajillo Chiles
3 Arbol Chiles
2 tsp whole Chiltepins
1 Red Bell Pepper
5 circular slices White Onion
2 Garlic Cloves
¼ cup Cilantro
2 limes
1 tbsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
2 tsp Mexican Oregano
1/8 tsp Ground Cloves

Roast New Mexico Reds, guajillo, and arbols until lightly darkened (about 10 seconds for each side on arbols and 15 seconds for other chiles). Place roasted chiles in a bowl of warm water and let sit for at least 20 minutes (the longer you let them soak the more flexible they become). Once chiles are done remove their seeds and stems before placing in blender. Do not throw away the chile water. Add ¼ cup of the chile water into the blender.

Roast the red bell pepper (cut into halves and remove stem and seeds beforehand), circular slices of white onion, and garlic until slightly darkened on each side. Once they are done roasting, place in blender along with lime juice, cilantro, and chiltepins. Purée in blender for a minute, then add the remaining spices and blend for an additional minute before serving.

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