Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Taste of the Yucatán

Here are a couple of the habanero salsas that we’ve encountered - I wanted to share these with you. I really only got the ingredients – the amounts of each ingredient weren’t given – you’ll have to experiment to find the right balance for each of you.

Salsa habanera de Hopelchen
We were served this simple salsa in a small food stall just on the outskirts of the plaza. Aside from the local Mennonites coming into town for provisions, we were the only outsiders in this town. We finished the entire bowl of this salsa.

Habanero chiles
Red onion
Vinegar (I think sugar cane vinegar was used – white vinegar may be a bit acidic for this – if you are using white vinegar, you may want to dilute it with water and toss in a pinch of sugar)
Roast the chiles over a flame, or you can roast them in a hot pan. Put the roasted habanero(s) into a blender with some red onion, cilantro and salt.

Salsa habanera con naranja agria
There is a type of sour orange that was introduced to the Yucatan peninsula and has become a main part of Yucatecan cuisine. It is used in a number of main dishes, and in many of the habanero salsas, the acidity and orange flavors turn the heat down a bit and round out the flavor. Obviously this ingredient is not in your local market – you can probably substitute a combination of orange juice and lime juice to get close to it.

To make this salsa, roast the habaneros over flame or in a hot skillet. Toss them into a blender with the fresh squeezed juice of the sour orange and some white onion and salt. Blend. You could also add cilantro if you are so inclined.

The simplest salsa is to slice the habanero very thinly and to soak these in the juice of the sour oranges. Leave these to marinate together for a couple of hours before serving.

Let me know if you give these a whirl.

1 comment:

Marsosudiro said...

Thanks for the great blog!

I found you while researching "yucatan salsas". I'm back in the US right now after 2 months in the Yucatan and Cuba, and damn but I'm missing the warm weather and the great (and cheap) food.

My recent Latin American food/etc. stuff here: