Salsa casera (or ranchera) mean house salsa (or ranch salsa) in Spanish. This is the beloved day-to-day homestyle salsa that is so easy to make and tastes great with everything. There are as many varieties of salsa casera as there are Mexican households... everyone makes it ever so slightly differently, depending on personal taste, tradition, chiles available, etc. It's sometimes made with a mix of tomatillos and tomatoes, or with roasted fresh chiles serrano/jalapeño/de arbol/cayenne instead of dried. Sometimes with chiles pequin added to take the heat up a notch, sometimes without cilantro, sometimes with Mexican oregano. However you make it, you can't go wrong with this salsa. It's quite basic, fresh, and herb-y.
makes: ~1-1/2 cups
- 1 lb. ripe tomatoes
- 4 cloves garlic
- 5 - 8 chiles de arbol (or cayenne, commonly used in India)
- 1/2 white onion, unpeeled
- 1 large handful cilantro, leaves and tender stems
- 2 tbsp. distilled vinegar
- 1 tbsp. salt
- Put the onion cut side down and the unpeeled garlic in a pan. Dry-roast on medium until the garlic is softened somewhat, charred in places, and the cut side of the onion is mostly charred. Peel the garlic and onion and place in a food processor jar.
- Boil water in a pan large enough to hold the tomatoes. Cut a cross on the top (stem side) of the tomatoes and put into the water. Bring to a boil and turn off the heat. Allow to cool and peel the tomatoes. Transfer to the food processor.
- Add the remaining ingredients and pulse into a salsa - don't blend into a soup! Adjust salt and lime to taste.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to a week.