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This salsa molcajeteada combines pan roasted tomatoes, garlic, and peppers to make a spicy and hearty salsa. They are ground down in an authentic Mexican molcajete. It is a staple in all Mexican homes, super easy to make, even if you don’t have a molcajete, and it adds a perfect touch of spiciness to any meal.

Charred tomatoes, peppers, and onion in a sheet tray lined with foil.

This recipe is from our housekeeper Polita, or I should say my parents’ housekeeper. I wish I had a housekeeper!!! She has worked with us for over 20 yrs. She was my nanny, as well as the house cook, and seamstress. Over the years she has become more of a companion for my mother and a beloved part of our family.

Garlic in a molcajete for salsa molcajeteada

Garlic ground to a paste in the molcajete

Let me tell you she likes her salsa hot!! She makes it in my mom’s molcajete, which I desperately tried to get here to give to me, but she refused. I can have it when she’s dead, she said. Because of this I had to buy a molcajete from Sur la Table!! It’s actually harder than you would think to find a good quality molcajete in the US. It might be easier now from Amazon than a couple of years ago.

Peppers ground to a paste in the molcajete

Be careful of cheap molcajetes because they might be made with cement and not volcanic stone. There are ways to tell if your molcajete is made with cement or volcanic rock. Usually a molcajete made with cement will not release any grit or if it does it will be a fine powder. A real volcanic rock molcajete will release grit into your food until it is properly seasoned.

Two tomatoes on top of chile puree in the molcajete

Once you determine that your molcajete is real, you will have to season it, unless you bought it already seasoned. To season it you basically have to grind a mixture of rice and a little bit of water, over and over again until the paste comes out white. You can see step-by-step instructions here.

Salsa molcajeteada in a large molcajete surrounded by tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic

Now you’re all set! When I use the molcajete to make salsa I feel so connected to my roots and my people. I don’t know if it’s the repetitive motion that gets you thinking, but just to think that hundreds of years have passed, and I can still make salsa the way my great-great grandma did is something truly special.

making salsa

 

The Recipe: Salsa Molcajeteada

  • Warning!! This salsa is hot. If you would like a medium heat to your salsa omit the serrano peppers. If you can find them use chilaca peppers instead of anaheim.
  • To make this recipe even quicker you can place your peppers, tomatoes, garlic, and onion under your oven broiler set to HIGH until they are charred. Be sure to flip them halfway through so they char evenly.
  • If you do not have a molcajete you can use a blender or food processor. Simply place all the cooked ingredients in the machine and pulse until the desired consistency is reached. I prefer it on the chunky side.
  • Enjoy!!

Salsa molcajeteada in a large molcajete surrounded by tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic

4.75 from 8 votes
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Salsa Molcajeteada

This salsa molcajeteada combines pan roasted tomatoes, garlic, and peppers to make a spicy and hearty salsa. Made in an authentic molcajete.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword authentic mexican salsa, molcajete salsa
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 cups
99 kcal
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 3 Plum tomatoes, small
  • 1 Beefsteak tomato
  • 1/4 White onion
  • 3 cloves Garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 Poblano Pepper
  • 1 Anaheim pepper
  • 1 Jalapeño
  • 2 Serrano Peppers
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt (plus more as needed)
  • 1/4 cup Chopped cilantro

Preparation

  1. Cut off the stems of the peppers and the tops of the tomatoes. 

  2. Heat a griddle or cast iron pan to high heat. Place all of the peppers, tomatoes, and garlic on griddle until they become soft and slightly blackened, about 7-10 min. (See note)

  3. Flip peppers, tomatoes, and garlic and continue to char for another 5- 7 minutes. (The garlic will be done before the peppers are finished cooking. Simply remove them from the griddle.)

  4. Remove ingredients from griddle and set aside. Peel most of the dark burnt skin off of the tomatoes and chiles. You can leave a little bit for the smoky flavor. Peel the garlic. 

  5. To start grinding ingredients in molcajete, place 1/2 tsp. of salt and the garlic in the molcajete. Grind down until a thick paste has been made. 

  6. Add the pepper and grind down one by one until you have the desired consistency. Add the tomatoes one by one and keep grinding. Chop the onion and add it to the molcajete with the cilantro. Season to taste and serve. 

  7. If you do not have a molcajete you can use a blender or food processor. Simply place all the cooked ingredients in the machine and pulse until the desired consistency is reached. I prefer it on the chunky side.

Chef's Notes

Warning!! This salsa is hot. If you would like a medium heat to your salsa omit the serrano peppers. If you can find them use chilaca peppers instead of anaheim. 

To make this recipe even quicker you can place your peppers, tomatoes, garlic, and onion under your oven broiler set to HIGH until they are charred. Be sure to flip them halfway through so they char evenly.

If you do not have a molcajete you can use a blender or food processor. Simply place all the cooked ingredients in the machine and pulse until the desired consistency is reached. I prefer it on the chunky side.

Nutrition Facts
Salsa Molcajeteada
Amount Per Serving
Calories 99
% Daily Value*
Sodium 115mg 5%
Potassium 1000mg 29%
Total Carbohydrates 22g 7%
Dietary Fiber 6g 24%
Sugars 12g
Protein 4g 8%
Vitamin A 68.8%
Vitamin C 137.8%
Calcium 5%
Iron 6.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Life is good right now, busy but fun. The kids are almost done with school and we’re looking forward to staying in our pj’s until well past 9am during the summer. The baby is probably going to be walking within a month, eek! We spent Mother’s day at a friend’s house celebrating her daughter’s first communion. Dylan gave me a beautiful cross he made at school and my hubby gifted me several outfits to update my wardrobe. I joke that he’s my stylist, but I really don’t have any fashion sense at all, so I need all the help I can get.

Roasted garlic and orange guacamole, sweet orange contrasts with the creamy avocado, the smoky roasted garlic and chiles permeate throughout

Roasted garlic and orange guacamole, sweet orange contrasts with the creamy avocado, the smoky roasted garlic and chiles permeate throughout

The Recipe: Roasted Garlic and Orange Guacamole

I’m a minimalist when it comes to guacamole. All I need is mashed avocado, a sprinkle of lime juice, and a dash of salt. That’s it! No fancy ingredients, fruits or anything else for that matter. That’s the way we always ate it at home, so it was a surprise to me when at culinary school I was asked for the best recipe for guacamole. I kind of just stared at the instructor, but I was thinking, ” A recipe? You don’t need a recipe to make guacamole.”

Roasted garlic and orange guacamole, sweet orange contrasts with the creamy avocado, the smoky roasted garlic and chiles permeate throughout

In reality, you can add pretty much anything to guacamole. This recipe is adapted from a Rick Bayless’s show, One Plate at a Time. The major difference is that he uses a grill to char the garlic, peppers, and onions and I use the broiler in my oven.

Roasted garlic and orange guacamole, sweet orange contrasts with the creamy avocado, the smoky roasted garlic and chiles permeate throughout

The recipe includes roasted garlic, which ads a beautiful smokiness to it. There are many ways to roast garlic as you can see in this post from Emma of cooknovel.com

I really enjoyed this guacamole, the acidity of the oranges contrasts the creaminess of the avocado, the smoky flavor of the roasted garlic and chiles permeates throughout, and finally the hint if sweetness from the orange brings it all together. Enjoy!

Roasted garlic and orange guacamole, sweet orange contrasts with the creamy avocado, the smoky roasted garlic and chiles permeate throughout

garlic orange guacamole
5 from 1 vote
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Roasted Garlic and Orange Guacamole

Recipe adapted from Rick Bayless's One Plate at a Time
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 12 cloves Garlic, not peeled
  • 1 Red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 Serrano peppers
  • 6 Avocadoes, medium-large, pitted, flesh scooped
  • 2 Oranges, large, cut into segments
  • To taste Lime juice, fresh
  • ¼ cup Cilantro, chopped

Preparation

  1. Set your oven broiler on high.
  2. Line a sheet tray with foil or parchment paper and place the garlic, sliced onion, and Serrano peppers on it.
  3. Place under broiler for 7 min. Remove the garlic from the oven and set aside. Flip the peppers and toss the onion so it chars evenly. Return to oven for 5 -7 more minutes or until the peppers and onion are charred, but not burnt. Chop the onion and peppers and set aside.
  4. Peel garlic and place in a molcajete, mortar and pestle or you can use your knife to turn the garlic into a paste.

  5. Place the garlic paste in a large bowl and add the chopped pepper and onion, avocado, and chopped cilantro. Mash with a potato masher to the desired consistency (I like mine chunky).
  6. Season with salt and pepper and lime juice to taste.
  7. Cut the orange supremes in half and fold them into the guacamole. Serve with your favorite chips.

Chef's Notes

To cut segments from oranges, cut both ends off the orange. Stand it up and cut away the rind and white pith with a knife. Using a pairing knife, slide the blade between one of the segments and the membrane. Cut until you reach the center of the orange, repeat on the other side of the segment.

 

I am in love with this watercress and radish salsa. I guess it’s more of a salad with the addition of the radish and watercress, but it pairs so perfectly with the slices if avocado and home-made tortillas. I made a batch if this and ate it all by myself!

This vegan recipe for watercress and radish salsa is spicy, crunchy, fresh and pairs perfectly with avocado slices and home-made tortillas.

I’ve adapted this recipe for watercress and radish salsa from a book called Memorias en Mole de Olla, Cocina y Revolucion en Tlaxcala. The author, Helena Hernandez de Valle Arizpe, has researched and gathered over 117 recipes of the cuisine of Tlaxcala during the time of the Mexican revolution (1910-1920). Her only intent is to promote her findings in the hope of preserving Mexico’s cuisine. Unfortunately, for you English speakers the book is in Spanish.

This vegan recipe for watercress and radish salsa is spicy, crunchy, fresh and pairs perfectly with avocado slices and home-made tortillas.

That’s where I come in. I have translated this goodness and adapted it slightly. I love recipes like these, because they reflect exactly what I want this blog to be. I don’t just want to veganize traditional Mexican dishes. I want to share with you recipes that although they may be accidentally vegan (meaning they don’t come from a vegan mindset, they just happen to have no animal products), they are part of the fabric of traditional Mexican cuisine. With the advent of Tex-Mex or the adaptation of Mexican food across borders we tend to forget that the basis of the whole cuisine is corn, beans, and chile.

This vegan recipe for watercress and radish salsa is spicy, crunchy, fresh and pairs perfectly with avocado slices and home-made tortillas.

Hopefully I will be able to share with you more recipes from this great book. In other news, I’m really excited about being featured in PETALatino this month. Head on over there and check it out. Look out for some classic lenten recipes in the following weeks, and don’t forget to email subscribe to receive a notification every time a new post is published and our monthly newsletter.

The Recipe: Watercress and Radish Salsa

Is it a salsa or a salad? It’s both! Four serranos make a very spicy salsa, so if you want it mild add a little bit less. Enjoy!

Watercress radish salsa. Roasted tomatoes and serranos, watercress, and sliced radishes.
5 from 1 vote
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Watercress and Radish Salsa

Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 3 Roma tomatoes, large
  • 4 Serrano peppers
  • 1 bunch Watercress, roughly chopped
  • 6 Red radishes, cut into matchsticks
  • 3 Mexican spring onions, white part only, chopped, cebollitas

Preparation

  1. Heat a griddle or cast iron pan to high heat. Place tomatoes and serrano peppers on griddle until they become soft and slightly blackened, about 5 min.
  2. Flip peppers, tomatoes, and continue to char for another 5 minutes.
  3. Remove ingredients from griddle and set aside.
  4. Start grinding the peppers in the molcajete one at a time. Once the desired consistency is reached, add the tomatoes one by one and keep grinding. Set aside
  5. If you do not have a molcajete you can use a blender or food processor. Simply place the charred tomatoes and peppers in the machine and pulse until the desired consistency is reached. Set aside.
  6. Add radish, watercress, and spring onion to the tomato and serrano salsa. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve with avocado slices and warm tortillas.

Chef's Notes

Yields about 2 cups. Mexican spring onions are very different from scallions. They have a bulbous ending and a very long green stem. See ingredient picture above. Feel free to add more serranos if you want this to be spicier.

 

 

 

 

I hereby declare February national salsa month! Wait, I just googled it and national salsa month is a real thing, and it’s in May. Oh well, here at Dora’s Table February is salsa month. This whole month I will be posting salsa recipes for you to enjoy. Let’s start with this roasted tomatillo salsa.

Mexican mortel and pestel

Ingredients for roasted tomatillo salsa.

The reason I decided to make this month salsa month is, because I bought a molcajete!! I am so excited about this. I’ve been meaning to purchase one for years, but every time I visit Mexico I decide not to. Those things are heavy and can break so I’ve never wanted to risk it. I finally just went to Williams-Sonoma and bought one. Why Williams-Sonoma? Well that’s another story that requires a blog post all to itself.

Tomatillos roasting for salsa.

Tomatillos roasting

I know it’s silly but every time I use it, I feel somehow connected to my past and heritage. I can’t stop myself at marveling at the fact that the indigenous cultures of Mexico used this exact same tool in their cooking thousands of years ago. I honestly didn’t expect a huge difference in flavor than when I use my blender, but I was pleasantly surprised. The result is a chunky, rustic salsa with bright and strong flavors. The recipes I will be posting will be made using the molcajete, but you can easily prepare them in your blender or food processor.

Salsa in molcajete.

Roasted tomatillo salsa.

In other news, it’s been sick week here at the Stone house. Everybody has been taking turns getting sick, and we’re all exhausted. Hopefully baby Karina will be sleeping normally soon, and everything will be back to normal. Otherwise things are great. We finally went to Legoland with some friends, and we had a blast. My two little ones are growing so fast, and they are keeping me infinitely distracted with their cuteness.

karina

legoland1

 

I’ve been dedicating some extra time to grow my pinterest page, so stop by and check it out: http://www.pinterest.com/dorastable/

I’ve also started a Vegan Mexican pinterest board. If you would like to join, shoot me an email and let me know: dora.l.stone@gmail.com

One last thing. I will begin sending out a monthly newsletter with cooking tips, my favorite recipes, and other news. To receive this newsletter simply subscribe to the blog via email by clicking on the subscribe button on the right side of the home page. Enjoy!

The Recipe: Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

If you do not have a molcajete to make this roasted tomatillo salsa you can use a blender or food processor. Also, if you do not have a comal or cast-iron pan you can use the broiler in your oven. Just put the tomatillo, onion, chile, and garlic on a tray and place under broiler until they are blackened.

Roasted tomatillo salsa. Chunky, rustic, spicy, and tangy.
0 from 0 votes
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Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 1 1/2 cups
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. (8 medium) Tomatillos, husks removed, washed
  • ¼ Onion, white
  • 3 Garlic, cloves
  • 2-4 Serrano Peppers
  • 1 tbsp. Cilantro, chopped

Preparation

  1. Heat a comal, cast-iron, or heavy bottomed pan to medium-high heat. Place the tomatillos, garlic, onion, and Serrano peppers directly on the hot pan. They will become soft and slightly blackened, about 7 – 10 min.
  2. Flip tomatillos, peppers, onion, and garlic over and continue to char for 10 more minutes.
  3. Remove ingredients from griddle and set aside.
  4. Start grinding ingredients in molcajete one at a time. Once the desired consistency is reached, add the next ingredient and keep grinding. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
  5. If you do not have a molcajete you can use a blender or food processor. Simply place all the cooked ingredients in the machine and pulse until the desired consistency is reached.
  6. Season to taste.

Chef's Notes

If you do not have a molcajete you can use a blender or food processor.