“Drunken” salsas have been around forever. They were originally prepared with pulque, an alcoholic beverage made from the fermented juice of 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 is mostly burned off in the cooking process, leaving only its musky flavor. The sweetness from the freshly squeezed orange juice gives this salsa a wonderful balance.
- 8 ancho chiles
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/2 cup golden tequila
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup crumbled añejo or feta cheese
- Cook the chiles in a dry sauté pan over high heat, turning them constantly, for 2 minutes, or until slightly toasted. Halve and seed the chiles. Tear them into small pieces and transfer the pieces to a blender.
- Add the orange juice, tequila, garlic, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to the blender. Puree until the salsa is nearly smooth.
- Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a sauté pan over high heat. Add the salsa and cook for 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Season the salsa with salt and pepper. Let it cool completely. (The salsa can be made 1 day ahead. Cover the sauce and keep it in the fridge.)
- Serve the salsa topped with the crumbled añejo cheese.