One of the things we do really well in Maryland is peppers. Our soil and climate are perfect for the entire range of peppers, from the mildest to the hottest.
One of Jerry Pellegrino's favorite thing to do with peppers is to whip up some of the classic Mexican salsas. Here are a few of his favorite. Some of these ingredients can be found in the Latino bodegas that a scattered around town.
Click here for salsa recipes from Chefs Amy von Lange & Jerry Pellegrino.
Click on the photos above for salsa roja, roasted salsa verde and chile de arbol salsa recipes.
One 8-ounce cone of piloncillo (cane juice, reduced to a syrup and hardened)
2 cups water
6 garlic cloves, skin on
½ cup lard
60 chipotle chiles, stems removed
2 cups water
In a sauce pan set over medium-high heat, bring the water to a boil. Add the piloncillo and, with constant stirring, dissolve the piloncillo completely into the water. Turn of the heat. In a cast iron skillet set over medium-high heat, toast the garlic cloves until the skins begin to burn in places and they become aromatic. Remove and allow to cool. Add the lard to the skillet and allow to heat until just smoking. Working in batches, toast the chipotle about 30 seconds on each side. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in the piloncillo syrup. Continue until all the chiles have been toasted. Weight the chiles down with a small plate so they are completely submerged and allow to soften for 30 minutes or until they are all soft enough to be easily pulled apart with your fingers. Using an immersion blender, purée the salsa until the chiles have all been blended and no more lumps remain. Set a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the salsa and cook an additional 10 minutes with constant stirring. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.