Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. ~Philippians 4:8~

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Mex-Ita

It has been said that necessity is the Mother of invention. For dinner I was making chicken envueltos also called 'flautas', and you absolutely have to have salsa when eating envueltos. Well that, and Mexican rice and refried beans of course. Anyhow, I was out of fresh tomatoes, which I prefer, and upon checking my pantry, I discovered I didn't have any cans of crushed or whole tomatoes to make it with. What's a cook to do? I may have very well discovered a new version of Mexican hot salsa, or hot sauce. I could probably name it MexIta sauce, since it's a mixture of Mexican and Italian flavors. I happened to have different brands of jars of Italian pasta sauces. Now I knew Prego or Ragu just wouldn't do, because they have such a strong 'oregano' or classic spaghetti sauce flavor. I needed something that was more about tomatoes and less about Italian spices. So there I was in the middle of my kitchen reading ingredient labels. I found this one, but I took the picture after I had rinsed out the bottle:


I proceeded to use it by first toasting the dried 'chile de arbol' pods over a skillet, then tossing into boiling water with three large cloves of garlic, cooking until well hydrated and softened. After draining the chiles, I added them with the garlic to the tomato sauce in the blender. You do have to be careful at this stage because suddenly breathing in the fumes can induce an uncomfortable coughing fit! The resulting product was thick and smelled earthy and rustic and just plain delicious. And the color! Oh, what a festive shade of red!



Who would've thought that it works! I really like the texture the tomatoes give the salsa. It's a velvety almost unctuous feel that is hard to describe. It's an intense flavor, different from your traditional hot salsa. It doesn't have the bright, crisp and clean flavors of traditional Mexican sauces. This is something different. A sauce for when you want something a little 'different'. So next time you're fresh out of an ingredient, use and make do with what you have. You just might find that you've discovered a special treat! I'm thinking I may have to do a poor man's copyright on this!

4 comments:

Tufa Girl said...

For a short period of time in the 80's I lived in Connecticut. The only Mexican food was at Taco Bell or some of the local's own. The locals in Connecticut are Italian. Needless to say their hot sauce was either catsup with chili flakes or spaghetti sauce with diced jalapenos. Thankfully a group of us Texans invaded them and brought them real Mexican food with authentic flavors. You have to know what you are doing. You make it look easy, Yaya.

YayaOrchid said...

TufaGirl, you are so right! You have to really be able to identify the 'flavor's you're going for to begin with. And then which ones you don't want. Another thing is that it takes at least a day for the flavors to really meld and intensify. We'll see how it tastes tomorrow! :LOL!

Gloria said...

It looks pretty good. I've never tried that. I bet it tastes good too. Let us know how spicy it is when you try it.

YayaOrchid said...

Hi, Gloria! I'm hoping it will taste even better by tomorrow. It's already very good!

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