Salsa de Chile California/Salsa made with dried California Chiles

I love this chile salsa for my soup. I think I know hundreds of variations of chile salsas and about so many different ways to prepare them. I’m not sure though, there are just so many that I know without thinking, till something comes up and I want a certain kind I remember or a taste I crave.

This salsa is smoky, sweet and has a slight kick. It gives depth and a beautiful color to the verdure, clean taste of the Caldo de Pollo and also makes a great salsa for chips.

Salsa de Chile California/Salsa made with dried California Chiles

7-10 dried Chile Californias
4 tomatoes
1 bunch of cilantro
5 cloves of garlic
1 onion, sliced into rings
chicken broth
salt to taste
olive oil

In a heavy frying pan, add olive oil about a cup and a half. I use extra virgin first cold press olive oil because the taste is so good and compliments the chilies well.

Heat the oil but don’t let it get so hot it smokes. Lay the chiles down in the pan and lquickly fry them. Don’t let them burn. You just want them to swell up and split their skins. They will get slightly blackened. Remove from the pan and put into a bowl, then cover it and let sit so the skins can steam off.

In the same oil you cooked the chiles in, add the thick rings of onion and the garlic. Keep the garlic to one side as it will cook very quickly and you don’t want it to burn. Gently brown the garlic on both sides then remove from the pan and set aside. Cook the onions till slightly caramelized, then remove from the pan.

Add the four tomatoes whole to the same pan and let cook till the skins split. Remove from the pan and cool. Peel.

Save the oil that remains. It will make a nice flavored chili oil that you can use for other things.

Peel the chiles and remove the stems, seeds and veins. I leave the seeds in one of the chili just to give it a slight kick. I save the seeds from one more chile and add that to the reserved chili oil with a little more olive oil.

This is a smooth salsa, so I use the blender. I add the chiles, onions, garlic, salt, cilantro and tomatoes all in one fell swoop. I add about a quarter cup of the chicken broth to the blender and hit the pulse button. If the salsa is too thick, add a little more broth to it. When it can all move through the blender with ease, stop pulsing and blend till it’s completely smooth.

Turn out into a bowl, add more salt if needed and garnish with cilantro.

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