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Milk Street Recipe
Milk Street Bowtie Salsa Macha Costeña

Salsa Macha Costeña

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30 minutes

Salsa Macha Costeña

Makes about 3 cups

Salsa macha is a dark, thick, rich and nutty condiment. Its base is always oil, but the combination of nuts, spices and dried chilies that give it character varies cook to cook. This version from Puerta Vallarta native Paola Briseño-González is earthy, complex and mildly spicy—and delicious on just about anything, including scrambled eggs, quesadillas and grilled seafood. Cocoa nibs, an unusual addition, lend texture along with pleasantly bitter notes that perfectly complement the chilies and nuts. The salsa’s smokiness comes from chipotle or morita chilies. Both are dried smoked jalapeños, but beyond that, there seems to be little agreement about the exact differences between the two. Either will work in this recipe, but steer clear of chipotle chilies in adobo sauce. Feel free to use whatever type of unflavored peanuts you have on hand, whether they’re roasted or raw, salted or unsalted. The salsa can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to several months; bring to room temperature before serving.

Don’t use extra-virgin olive oil, as its flavor is too assertive. Rather, use regular olive oil or light olive oil, or even a neutral oil such as grapeseed. And don’t rush cooking the garlic, nuts and seeds. The goal is to coax all the oils, and flavors, from the nuts, seeds and chilies by slowly frying them in the oil.

Makes about 3

cups

30 minutes

2 cups olive oil (see headnote) or neutral oil
4 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds
1/2 cup peanuts (see headnote)
3 tablespoons raw cocoa nibs
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
5 medium (1½ ounces) guajillo chilies, stemmed, seeded and torn into rough 2-inch pieces
2 (¼ ounce) chipotle or morita chilies, stemmed, seeded and torn into rough 2-inch pieces (see headnote)
2 (1¼ ounces) ancho chilies, stemmed, seeded and torn into rough 2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
Kosher salt
Ingredients
  • 2

    cups olive oil (see headnote) or neutral oil

  • 4

    medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

  • ½

    cup blanched slivered almonds

  • ½

    cup peanuts (see headnote)

  • 3

    tablespoons raw cocoa nibs

  • 2

    tablespoons sesame seeds

  • 5

    medium (1½ ounces) guajillo chilies, stemmed, seeded and torn into rough 2-inch pieces

  • 2

    (¼ ounce) chipotle or morita chilies, stemmed, seeded and torn into rough 2-inch pieces (see headnote)

  • 2

    (1¼ ounces) ancho chilies, stemmed, seeded and torn into rough 2-inch pieces

  • 1

    teaspoon dried oregano

  • 2

    teaspoons cider vinegar

  • Kosher salt

Directions
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Reviews
Jake H.

Are these supposed to be dried or fresh chiles?

Lynn C.

Hi Jake -

Salsa macha is a dark, thick, rich and nutty condiment. Its base is always oil, but the combination of nuts, spices and dried chilies that give it character varies cook to cook. Another tip: if we call for tearing chilis in the ingredient list we are referring to dried chilies. Fresh chilies would be chopped. Hope that helps!

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Susan W.

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