Smoked Salsa de Chile de Cascabel

Source: Soul Cocina

Recipe Type: | Seasons:

It was prepared as part of the SF Food Wars Salsa ChampionChip on September 12, 2010. This salsa won the judges’ first place award!


Two big handfulls of chile de cascabel peppers
One dozen tomatillos
One dozen dry farmed Early Girl tomatoes
2 heads of garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
Small handful of chile tepine peppers
Small handful of chile de arbol peppers


  1. Roast two heads of peeled garlic at 325 degrees in a little Bariani extra virgin oilive oil with water and salt until caramel colored and soft.

  2. Toast chile de cascabel peppers on a comal over low heat until lightly charred.  Remove the seeds and lightly toast them on the comal.
  3. Peel tomatillos and char on the comal. Then char the tomatoes, the onions, and the chile tepine – one ingredient at a time.
  4. Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat then fry the Chile de Arbol peppers.
  5. Place all dry ingredients on fig leaves and all wet ingredients on fig leaf lined pans on the upper shelves of an oven.
  6. Burn a bunch of fig wood until fully charred and flaming.  Blow out flame and set the smoking wood on the bottom shelf of oven. Close doors and smoke for a few hours, relighting the wood every hour or so to produce more smoke. For a lightly smoked flavor {like the award winning Soul Cocina salsa}, 2 hours is good.  For a more pronounced smokey flavor go all day long.
  7. In a molcajete, grind the chile tepine into a fine powder. Add some sea salt and a few cloves of raw garlic.  Grind to a paste. Add the other chile peppers and grind. Continue to grind all the remaining ingredients. Serve when it reaches the consistency you like.

Farmers Market Ingredients