However, you can make do with what you have, right?
So I am loving it in my adopted city thus far. The people are great, the weather is a true test of my Northern character and the food is good.
Now before I start a war, let me make perfectly clear that I have found excellent food here. But he who tries to compare the foodways of a city of 9 million to that of a city of under 300,000….well you can see where I am going with this. There are going to be times when I can’t get what I want.
Invention, is the sometimes arrogant and demanding child of necessity fortunately and so, last night when I pined for a salsa I was heavily addicted to at a taqueria in Brooklyn, I made it myself.
I know what you are saying,
“All this song and dance for a mere slasa- is she bat sh*# crazy?”
Well yes, I am but this salsa has little to do with it. It does have to do with Pepitas and Chiles de Arbol.
Pumpkin seed and chile salsa is like no other Mexican condiment I have ever experienced. It’s downright magical. Earthy, familiar and with a searing kick that arrives on your tongue just as you reach in to take another taste. It’s the type of food item that merits a nice eye closing as you try it the first time, you know?
The place in Brooklyn created a perfectly smooth, saucy texture, almost cheese-sauce like in the way it coated your tortilla chip.
“Making do” does not always yield identical results of course and I felt like my reenactment was close but it could stand to be perfected. I am obviously really looking forward to that process.
This salsa is quite the charmer, so be prepared to have a new taco sauce buddy in your life.
Pumpkin Arbol Salsa
Adapted from (snif, snif, my beloved) Calexico.
1 Half cup Pumpkin Seeds
6 Arbol Chiles (or any other hot chili)
1 Half Onion, Sliced
5 Cloves Garlic, Smashed
1 Handful Cilantro ( I omitted this as we had a cilantro hater in the house)
A pinch of salt
1/2 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Rice Wine Vinegar
Add cilantro and blend.
Toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry pan over high heat until they start to pop.
Throw in your chiles until they start to brown.
Take them out and set aside.
Caramelize onions & garlic in same pan with a touch of oil over medium heat.
Season with salt.
Blend chiles, pumpkin seeds, onions, garlic, vinegar and water in a blender until silky.
I used the food processor as I my blender remains packed away somewhere, hence no silkiness for me, but still plenty of delicious.