Sauce or Salsa

I had tagged a recipe for a salsa in one of my Mexican cookbooks. But the salsa did not contain the typical salsa ingredients.  No tomatoes in a salsa??  WHAT???  Well what ended up being created, while called a salsa in the cookbook, I would consider a sauce.  A very complex sauce that takes your taste buds on a flavor ride.

The recipe comes from the cookbook:

The recipe tagged was for Salsa Macha. The ingredients for the salsa were rather unexpected.  So immediately I was intrigued!

To start with I took small red chili peppers and cut off the stems. Then I rolled the peppers between my fingers to remove the seeds.  I have to say this was kind of a cool way to remove seeds from a pepper!  I will be using this technique again!

love this technique to remove seeds!
love this technique to remove seeds!

I heated vegetable oil in a medium pot over medium heat. I added peanuts, sesame seeds and garlic.  I stirred occasionally and cooked for about 8 minutes when the garlic started to become golden.

what kind of a salsa is this??!
what kind of a salsa is this??!

I took the pot off the heat and added the chili peppers and a canned chipotle pepper. I let the skillet sit for 10 minutes.


I then took the contents of the pot and placed them in blender along with apple cider vinegar, salt and honey. I blended until all combined and smooth.

before pressing blend
before pressing blend
after pressing blend
after pressing blend

The salsa/sauce can be refrigerated for up to a month.

looks kind of like a sriracha mayo...but it's SO much better tasting!!
looks kind of like a sriracha mayo…but it’s SO much better tasting!!

I used mine a few nights later when I grilled up some chicken and baby bok choy. 


The sauce was excellent on both.


The Verdict: Wow, an unusual yet really tasty sauce.  It has a bit of smokiness from the chipotle pepper and a really nice kick of heat from the chili peppers.  I can’t wait to try this sauce on other things!

Smokey Spicy Pepper Sauce
  1. 12 small red chili peppers
  2. ½ cup vegetable oil
  3. ½ cup raw shelled peanuts
  4. 2 TB hulled sunflower seeds
  5. 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and slightly crushed
  6. 1 canned chipotle pepper
  7. 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  8. 1 TB kosher salt
  9. 1 TB honey
  1. Cut off the stems from the red chili peppers. Then roll the pepper between your fingers to remove the seeds. Discard the seeds and put peppers aside.
  2. Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add peanuts, sunflower seeds and garlic. Cook stirring occasionally for 5-8 minutes until garlic starts to turn golden.
  3. Remove the pot from heat and add red chili peppers and chipotle pepper to the skillet. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Place the contents of the pot in a blender along with vinegar, salt and honey. Blend until combined and smooth.
  1. Store in the refrigerator for up to a month.
Adapted from Tacos: Recipes and Provocations
Adapted from Tacos: Recipes and Provocations
Cooking with Rosemary