I have been receiving a lot of surprising things in my mailbox lately. Today it was a package containing fresh habanero chiles from the garden of my friend Luis, photographer turned gardener! (He also sent me a beautiful photo I had admired on his website.)
These came at a great time because I watched a video of another friend, Juan, making salsa, and I wanted to try one of his techniques. So I assembled everything I needed and put on a pair of gloves, (because I had a bad experience being burned by chiles before. Now preparing such things turns into more of a medical procedure than cooking!)
First, the roma tomatoes, (about six), and one habanero were put on the comal to slightly roast the skin. (It seems silly, one lone habanero, but trust me. One is plenty.)
I think that when they’re done roasting, some people remove the skin, but I left it on. My husband helped me cut open the little habanero and remove the seeds. I wore plastic gloves. Mi macho said he didn’t need gloves and his hands got a little burned.
The tomatoes and the habanero went into the blender, (I’m not as awesome as Juan. I don’t own a molcajete.) Into the blender I also added 1/4 of a large onion, a few spoonfuls of minced fresh garlic, a little handful of fresh cilantro, 1 medium green pepper, 1 tablespoon vinegar and a few dashes of salt. (All very technical measurements, verdad?)
One minute in the blender and ya estuvo! That salsa is so picante pero so good. My husband was the first to taste a spoonful and you would never know he’s Salvadoran by the grito mexicano que salia de su boca.