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Rick Bayless ~ Salsa Roja de Chile Arbol

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The boxes are packed, loaded on to a u-haul and have been deposited to our home. The countdown begins 29 days left in Edinburg, Texas. The excitement is almost unbearable.  I now find myself sleeping on one of those air mattresses. My kitchen scaled down to 4 plates, 4 bowls, 4 glasses and only the necessary utensils.  Of course each plate, glass and bowl is of a different shade for blog purposes (smile).


I find my empty space quite uplifting to tell you the truth.  Less to clean, dust, wash. An abundance of counter space has made its way into my kitchen after packing the entire collection of small appliances.  With all these items gone one would think my dining table would suffer, wrong.  Daily meals continue to appear at the table, cookies are spooned onto cookie sheets and masa finds itself taking shape in my hands and salsa is made.  Salsa is the one item I know will always, no matter where I live will be brought to the table.  Salsa holds a permanent place at the table. It is a way of life, a part of our table, a part of our everyday.





Does it sound funny to hold salsa is such high regard?  It might, but if you’re here, if you have visited me before you know food holds a loving bond in my life.  I blame it on my mom.  Every evening as she set the table for dinner the last component to be placed on the table was salsa. Center stage in her molecajete.  Now when I visit my sisters I find they do the same, everyone places the salsa in the center of the table.

It’s communal, it’s family, and it’s delicious.


Before we get to the recipe I just have to share. I was featured on NBC Latino!! I’m still grinning from ear to ear from the feature. Stop by if you would like to check it out!  NBC Latino





Rick Bayless’s Salsa Roja de Chile Arbol

Yield: makes 1 cup


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 16 (1/4 ounce total) arbol chiles, stemmed
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 medium (8 ounces) tomatillos, husked, rinsed and cut in half
  • Salt


  1. Measure the oil into a large 10 inch skillet and set over medium heat.
  2. Roll the arbol chiles between your fingers to loosen the seeds, then break them in half and shake out as many seeds as will come out easily.
  3. Lay the chiles in the hot oil. Turn constantly until they’re aromatic and have changed color slightly, about 30 seconds.
  4. With a slotted spoon, scoop the chiles into a blender jar, leaving behind as much oil as possible.
  5. With a paper towel, wipe out the oil from the skillet (no need to wash). Set the skillet over medium heat and lay in the garlic and tomatillos (cut side down).
  6. When the tomatillos are well browned, 3 or 4 minutes turn everything over and brown the other side. Scoop into the blender jar and add ½ cup water.
  7. Blend until smooth. Pour into a salsa dish and cool.


Crave more Salsa? Of course you do…

Salsa Cruda

Texas Red Grapefruit Salsa

Green Salsa

Strawberry Avocado Salsa


I’m sharing this bowl of salsa with IHCC.




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34 Responses to Rick Bayless ~ Salsa Roja de Chile Arbol

  1. [...] Salsa Roja de Chile Arbol [...]

  2. I love having salsa in the house and I miss making my own — I’ve got tons of chilis de arbol as well. This looks wonderful and sounds delicious!

  3. I’ve never tried tomatillos before — that looks scrumptious :D

  4. So simply yet so flavorful. We love Rick Bayless.
    Good luck with your move.
    Lori Lynn recently posted..meyer lemon almond vinaigretteMy Profile

  5. my apartment is spartan, to tell you the truth–you’re right about the bonus of having less to clean! keep on truckin’, vianney!
    grace recently posted..my muse?My Profile

  6. Glad you are enjoying to “space” :) This salsa looks and sounds incredible, and your photos are so pretty here :)
    A Huge congrats on the feature!!!
    Happy Sunday, hugs
    Magic of Spice recently posted..What’s for snack time? Tequila Lime Roasted Garlic and Chipotle ArtichokesMy Profile

  7. Hi Vianney,

    Congrats on the feature! Salsa to us Mexicans is most definitely held in such high regard, deservingly so. If you ask me a good meal is not complete if you don’t have a great salsa. I’m loving this recipe. We always had salsa de chile de arbol.
    Spicie Foodie recently posted..Sunday Snapshots: Postcards From Prague 3My Profile

  8. To tell you the truth, I have no idea who Ricky Bayless is, but I would love to make his salsa! Those flavors… amazing!
    Congratulations on getting featured on NBC!!
    Magda | My Little Expat Kitchen recently posted..The remains of the dayMy Profile

  9. A fantastic salsa! Photos are as good as edible!
    Angie@Angie’s Recipes recently posted..Soya Spelt Scones with Cranberry and White ChocolateMy Profile

  10. You know salsa is almost always present on our table too… It really brightens any meal.
    Congrats on ur feature!!! Awesome!

  11. I stopped here by accident. So happy I did. Congratulations on your NBC Latino feature. Your photos look great.

    I will try the salsa and maybe also try some other recipes.

  12. Awesome feature! And thank you for sharing your story–I loved reading about the place salsa has in your family.
    Michelle recently posted..IHCC: Sauces and SalsasMy Profile

  13. Your photos are gorgeous.
    yummychunklet recently posted..ffwD: Coconut FriandsMy Profile

  14. Salsas are a must at our table for almost every meal! Your salsa looks DELICIOUS! I have a weakness for chile de arbol. Love the first photo of the chilies in your molcajete. :)

    So proud of you and happy to see you featured on NBC Latino. :)
    Leslie @ La Cocina de Leslie recently posted..Tamales Dulces de Membrillo y Queso {Sweet Quince Tamales w/ Cheese}My Profile

  15. WOOHOOO! Congratulations for your feature! Your pictures are stunning Vianney! :)
    Baker Street recently posted..Roasted Banana Cinnamon Ice CreamMy Profile

  16. Vianney – congratulations for your feature at NBC Latino! I checked it out and what awesome well-deserved recognition!!! Love the picture of you my friend! Now to the salsa – gotta have it and gotta have a lot of it! Love a tasty tomatillo salsa and this recipe looks perfect. Your pictures are ALL gorgeous BTW! Have a great weekend!
    mjskit recently posted..Banana Buttermilk Waffles with Strawberries and PecansMy Profile

  17. Such gorgeous photos–the salsa looks so delicious.
    Congrats on your feature too. ;-)
    Deb in Hawaii recently posted..Tangy Green Guacamole with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa w/ Serranos, Roasted Onions & Cilantro: Seriously Delicious & Addicting!My Profile

  18. that sweet spot in Texas will never be the same – someone has got a big hole to fill when you move and worse, where you land they better clear the way… good luck
    and so great on the feature, I’m smiling too… oh, good looking salsa
    Drick recently posted..Potato Salad with Deviled Egg DressingMy Profile

  19. Nice write up over at NBC! Congrats :) I almost made this salsa, too… sounds and looks great!
    Karen recently posted..Grilled Garlic and Pineapple GuacamoleMy Profile

  20. Absolutely gorgeous
    Emily @Cleanliness recently posted..A Neighborhood Chili Cook-Off & Smoked Gouda CrackersMy Profile

  21. Those tomatillos are gorgeous. Anything from Rick Bayless is something I would try!
    the wicked noodle recently posted..spanikopitaMy Profile

  22. NBC Latino – how cool is that?! Congrats, Vianney, and well-deserved. I love Rick Bayless recipes – this sounds wonderful~
    Susan recently posted..Green Soup for Earth DayMy Profile

  23. Congratulations on your feature!
    And the salsa looks wonderful, I need to get me a molecajete… ?
    Natashya recently posted..Ecoholic Body: Your Ultimate Earth-Friendly Guide to Living Healthy and Looking GoodMy Profile

  24. I’m the kind of salsa fiend who can and will be happy just sitting with a jar of it and spooning it into my mouth. This one sounds super delicious!
    Joanne recently posted..Recipe: Roasted Asparagus and Tomato Pasta Salad with Goat Cheese {eat.live.be.}My Profile

  25. I’d have to reference my cookbooks, but I’m pretty sure I’ve made this salsa before and it was WONderful. Beautiful photos by the way. Mygosh! Congrats on the NBC feature! Totally awesome.

  26. Your salsa looks wonderful! I have never tried making salsa before! It is on my list! Congratulations for being featured on NBC Latino! Cool!
    kitchen flavours recently posted..RB’s Hot SauceMy Profile

  27. That’s funny! Salsa was always the last at our table too and presented so sweetly in my mother’s molecajete. :) Today, I do a lot of things the way my Mom did and find it brings great memories to our table.

    I don’t know how you’re doing it with half your stuff packed away. I’ve been there…… over 14 times to be exact. We moved a lot. Good luck on your move! And just a short stop here to say thank you for being so supportive. :) Hope to see you soon.
    Sara@MommaFindings recently posted..Disneynature’s Chimpanzee: Is It Family Friendly?My Profile

  28. What a great salasa! I bet it is delicious.



  29. There is something liberating, isn’t it? CONGRATS!!! That is super awesome!!! So are these chilis.
    Belinda @zomppa recently posted..The Meaning of RugelachMy Profile

  30. I love to experiment with salsa and this is completely new to me. Would love to try this! I also try to always have some salsa in the fridge, we love Mexican food and need salsa on everything!
    Ambika recently posted..Mixed Vegetable Kurma – A mild vegetable curry with coconut milkMy Profile

  31. Congrats on your NBC feature! That is really cool. I always enjoy coming here and reading all your stories. Your salsa roja de chile arbol looks fantastic…almost creamy in a way. Gorgeous pictures!

    P.S. Had to laugh when you mentioned keeping out plates and bowls in different colors…good thinking:)
    Kim recently posted..Jalapeno-Baked Fish with Roasted Tomatoes and PotatoesMy Profile

    • Thanks. It’s funny because when I was setting aside the dishes, everyone knew why. Mommy has to keep blogging.

  32. Mmmm…this sounds wonderful. I don’t think it’s strange at all. We have salsa available at all meals, as well…it’s a staple! Congrats on your NBC Latino feature – awesome!
    Heather @girlichef recently posted..Spicy Baked TofuMy Profile

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