I hate baking. Ok. Maybe not hate, hate but I’m not very fond of that activity and it takes far more patience than I’m willing to give. I baked sugar cookies to decorate on Halloween and ended up with a mess. The icing for the cookie bats was grayish green instead of black and most of it covered the counter.
I’m just not a Pinterest ready baker. Sure! I love collecting cake recipes and drool over those glorious pictures but it’ll take me centuries of practice to figure out how to keep a Betty Crocker cake from falling apart on its way to the plate. It just ain’t happening.
When it comes to cooking, I’m good. Throw a recipe at me and I’ll figure it out. Fettucine Alfredo, check. Cannelloni, check. Lasagna, check. Balsamic mushrooms. Buffalo chicken wings. Lentil chilli. Eggplant and greek salad wraps. Yes, yes, yes and yep. Name the dish, show me the Pinterest picture and I’ll cook it. I might even change the proportions of the spices when I think they’re too few or too much.
I don’t even mind spending an hour (or two) cutting, dicing, mincing before I even get to throw anything in the pan. Once I’m done with preparation and the oil is hot, the fun begins.
Wait an hour for the cake to bake? Wait another 10 minutes for it to cool? That takes too much time. I want to eat or I’ll get distracted looking for something to appease my stomach.
Of course some dishes take longer than your average stir fry. And that’s when we (my stomach and I) get impatient. Because I don’t want to grab a bunch of potato chips while waiting for the soup to cook or the chicken to bake, I always make sure to have some salsa ready.
Salsa is the permanent guest on my kitchen table. It’s so versatile. You can add it to practically anything! A quesadilla, cecina, scrambled eggs or on its own spooned on a totopo chip.
With the 64 chili varieties available in Mexico, there’s always the perfect salsa for your dish and if you prepare it yourself, you know there won’t be any weird, nasty ingredients in it.
Today I’m sharing the Puya salsa recipe with you. This spicy sauce features two kinds of dried chilis of the same variety: Puya and Guajillo, plus it’s so easy to make!
The Puya chili is a smaller Guajillo that is spicier than the larger and wider Guajillo, which has a sweeter note.
No matter if dried or raw, chilis get their spice from the seeds and veins. If you can’t stand the heat, you have to remove both.
To use any dried chilis, you first need to broil them a bit without burning them to bring out their flavor. Just make sure your kitchen is well ventilated or you’ll end up coughing and spitting fire like a dragon. After this step, you can either boil them or let them rest in hot water until soft.
- 4 Roma Tomatoes
- 1 Green Tomato
- 2 Guajillo chilis
- 3-4 Puya chilis
- 1 Garlic clove
- Sea salt to taste
- Enough water to cover chilis
Wash tomatoes and chilis thoroughly.
Put tomatoes and chiles on a stovetop broiler (I use a comal). Chilis should change from bright red to a darker red. Be careful not to burn them or they'll make your salsa taste sour.
Turn tomatoes often until soft.
In a pot bring water to a boil and add the chiles. Let them simmer until soft.
Set water aside.
In the meantime, put the tomatoes in a blender or food processor. Add garlic and salt.
Once chiles are soft, cut off stem, de-seed and de-vein them (if you like your salsa spicy, leave both). Blend until smooth.
If your sauce is too thick, add some water from the softened chilis to change consistency.
To adjust spiciness, add salt in small increments; I usually wait until the salsa has cooled off. Remember: Heat adds to spiciness.
Enjoy and let me know how it turned out in the comments!