I grew up eating my mom's layered chicken enchilada casseroles made with canned sauce and tons of sour cream. While I've still got a soft spot in my heart for that dish, this version, with its smoky charred poblano salsa, tender braised chicken thighs, and moderate use of cream and cheese, is its more sophisticated, grown up cousin.
'salsa' on Serious Eats
When I make salsa at home, it's usually super simple: fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic, cilantro and lime, and a spoon to eat it with. This version, from Sara Deseran and Joe Hargrave's restaurants-cum-cookbook, Tacolicious, isn't much more complicated, but is much more interesting. It's the salsa that welcomes you on arrival to the Tacolicious restaurants, and will be the standard in my kitchen from now on.
Quick-cooking skirt steak is topped with a charred corn salsa mixed with sweet summer peaches for a weeknight meal that's ready in just 15 minutes.
Queso panela may be semi-soft, but it keeps it shape when grilled. It's mild flavor gets a boost in this recipe from a fruity and tart tomatillo and poblano salsa along with an onion and cilantro topping.
A good salsa can be used for so much—chip dip, taco topper, condiment for eggs, etc. Mix it with ketchup and you have a nice accompaniment for fries, taquitos, and more.
Invitingly spicy enchiladas are stuffed with a rich chicken thigh filling and topped with bubbly cheese
Dig your chip into lime marinated shrimp, juicy tomatillo-jalapeño-cilantro salsa, and melty mild Monterey Jack cheese.
Chilaquiles—crisp tortillas tossed in sauce and served topped with cheese and eggs—are the ultimate in comforting breakfast foods.
Mahi mahi takes well to tropical-themed preparations, such as this creative twist on fried fish from Ben Sargent's new cookbook, The Catch. Instead of breading or battering the fish, Sargent coats the mahi mahi fillets with a thin layer of crushed plantain chips. The chips make for an ultra-crisp coating on the fish, and add needed sweet richness to the lean fish. A big spoonful of pineapple and tomatillo salsa is a perfect accompaniment, adding bright freshness to the fried fillet.
Dried, toasted pasilla chilis are blended with tomatillos and yellow peppers, blistered under a broiler to create a smoky edge for the natural sweetness of the vegetables. Smooth and beautiful in color, this salsa will work great in fish tacos, on roasted or grilled corn, or mixed into rice and beans.
Combining cocoa, sweet ancho, spicy, smoky chipotle and toasty, fried almonds results in an earthy, slightly sweet flavor palette. This salsa is a bit on the thick side, which makes it perfect as a chip dip, or to slather onto tacos or quesadillas.
The toasted quality of the garlic and nuts tempers the boldness of the habanero and orange juice, so no one flavor is too strong. Paired with chips, this is an addictive sauce that makes you scrape for more.
If you're looking for some salsa salvation from the tomato-based norm this Cinco de Mayo, this sweet and tangy orange-tomatillo salsa will certainly serve you well.
Although originally billed as a "salsa," this isn't the type of sauce made for dipping tortilla chips, but rather, it's rich and complex character that's slightly bitter, sweet, and tangy, is a great match for hearty items like a grilled skirt steak.
A quick meal of broiled salmon in a tart tomattillo-guajillo chili sauce served with broiled asparagus.
Huevos rancheros—ranch-style eggs—are one of Mexico's most instantly recognizable breakfast dishes: a pair of fried eggs topped with a thick layer of spicy tomato sauce. It sounds rather simple, and it is. However, as with all recipes made with only a handful of ingredients, the treatment of each one is important.
Make it a Tex-Mex burrito bowl night. Poached chicken with lime is piled deep with all the fixings. Go full or semi-homemade.
Classic pico de gallo with a scattering of peanuts.
Simple, grilled halibut gets a refreshing, summery topping of watermelon salsa.
Like Mexican salsas, there are countless variations of this Colombian sauce: some made with hot chilies, some with avocados, some with pumpkin seeds, even some made with hard boiled eggs. But, as with Mexican salsa, there is one that immediately comes to most people's minds when they hear the word. In this case, it's the tomato and onion-based ají.