This is a recipe for Salsa Tatemala as taught to us at last month’s BayFest here in La Paz. The instructor was a young Mexican woman who either cooks at a local eatery or owns a local eatery, I wasn’t quite clear on which. The word “tatemala” is not in my Spanish-English dictionary. One of the cruisers in attendance suggested that it translated as “fire-roasted”. Could be. This is the basic salsa that you find served everywhere.
Basic ingredients are:
Chiles (poblano, California (Anaheim), serrano, jalapeño)
“Condiments” (mixture of salt, pepper, and garlic salt)
Roast the chiles. Blacken them all over.
About quantities: It’s all very loose. In this batch I used 5 Poblanos and 5 tomatoes and about 1/4 of a white onion and 1 clove of garlic. Next time I’ll probably use 3 Poblanos, 2 or 3 large serranos, 5 tomatoes, 1/4 onion and a clove of garlic.
Using a blender, food processor or, ideally, a molcajete (mortar & pestle made from volcanic rock), blend everything together. Taste. Add “condiments” to taste. If necessary (it probably won’t be), add a little water.
That’s it. Refrigerate and serve with totopos (tortilla chips). Lately, because there are so many teensy little broken pieces of chips too small to dip with at the bottom of the bag, we’ve taken to using tostada shells instead and just breaking them into dipping size as we eat them. Much less waste.