The pequin chile is a small dried chile that packs quite a punch on the heat scale.  My mouth waters just thinking about it.  It’s so hot that you have to eat it fast and keep eating it because if you stop for just a second you will immediately start feeling the burn.   This pequin salsa is hotter than I’m used to but the flavor is so good I’ve become addicted to it. 


Start by grinding the chile in a coffee or spice grinder.


You’ll only need 2 tablespoons of crushed chile but any leftover can be stored in a glass spice jar.  I like a coarse ground like this.


You’ll also need a can of fire roasted tomatoes, a can of tomato sauce, 1/2 onion diced, red wine vinegar, garlic, sugar, mexican oregano and salt.


In a bowl, pour 1 cup of very hot water over pequin chile and let steep several minutes.


In a medium sauce pan, pour in the steeped chiles and water.  Add the remaining ingredients except salt and simmer over medium high heat for 5 minutes.


The salsa will cook down and thicken.  At this point taste and if needed add a pinch of salt.  If you want a smooth salsa, and I did, pour it in a blender and puree until desired consistency.


Let it cool to room temperature and serve with chips or with your favorite Mexican dish.





Chile Pequin Salsa
(adapted from “The Food of Santa Fe” Chile Piquin Salsa)

2 tablespoons Pequin Chile, freshly ground in a coffee or spice grinder
1 cup Hot Water
1 14.5  ounce can Fire Roasted Tomatoes
1 8 ounce can Tomato Sauce
1/2 Onion, diced
1 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
1 clove Garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Sugar
Pinch of Mexican Oregano
Salt to taste

In a bowl pour hot water over pequin chile and let steep 5 minutes.

In a medium sauce pan, pour in the steeped chiles and water.  Add the can of fire roasted tomatoes and tomato sauce along with 1/2 diced onion, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 1 clove garlic minced, 2 teaspoons sugar and a pinch of mexican oregano.  Bring to a boil and then turn down heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Salt to taste.

If the salsa is too thick, thin with water and simmer until desired consistency.

Makes 2 cups.

Note*  If you want a smooth salsa, transfer to a blender and puree until desired consistency.