- 8 dried pasilla chiles* or dried ancho chiles
- 1 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/2 cup golden tequila
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup crumbled anejo cheese** or feta cheese
Cook the chiles in a dry saute pan over high heat turning constantly until slightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and when cool enough to handle, cut them in half and remove the seeds. Tear them into small pieces and add them to a blender.
Add the orange juice, tequila, garlic and olive oil to the blender. Puree the salsa and add it to the same saute pan used to toast the chiles. Cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season the salsa with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cool completely. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with crumbled anejo cheese.
Cook's Notes: "Drunken" salsas have been around forever but they were originally prepared with pulque, an alcoholic beverage made from the once sacred maguey (Agave plant). Pulque, which is not easy to find outside of Mexico, is not distilled and has a much stronger flavor than tequila, which I use in its place in this recipe. The alcohol leaves a musky flavor in the cooking process.
*The ancho chile is a dried poblano chile. It is also sold as "pasilla" or "chile negro" in the US. It has a deep red color, and the flavor ranges from mild to pungent. The rich, slightly fruit flavored ancho is the sweetest of the dried chiles. Anchos are often sold whole and can be stemmed, seeded then ground at home in a coffee or spice grinder. They can also be found at some supermarkets, Latin specialty markets or online.
**Anejo is a salty, crumbly cheese that is generally sprinkled on top of enchiladas, burritos and tacos. It is sold in some supermarkets and Latin specialty markets or even online. It can be substituted with feta cheese.