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Color Your Salsa With Heat

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A trio of colorful salsas.

The next time you need salsa for chips or a main course, don’t stop at one. Try these three colorful creations, each one hotter than the last.

Fire-Roasted Red Salsa

3 to 6 chiles de arbol
2 large or 3 medium tomatoes
1 medium red onion, cut in quarters
1 clove garlic, cut in quarters
3 tablespoons cilantro leaves
Juice of 2 key limes
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

Soak the chiles in warm water for 30 minutes or until they are rehydrated.

Cut the tomatoes in half. Roast over a medium heat on a gas grill, turning until all sides are grilled.

In a food processor, add tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro, lime juice and chiles. Process until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste.

From John Griffin

Fiery Green Salsa

Joanne Weir suggests serving this salsa in tacos with tequila lime chicken.

2 cups tomatillos, chopped (fresh or canned)
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup minced red onion
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 serrano, seeded and minced
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

If you are using fresh tomatillos, peel them. Place them directly over the gas flame, on a charcoal grill, or in a heavy dry skillet and cook, turning occasionally, until blackened all over, 5 to 8 minutes.

In a food processor, combine the tomatillos, cilantro, red onion, lime juice, and serrano.

Season with salt and pepper.

Adapted from JoanneWeir.com.

Fire Yellow Salsa

This salsa is the hottest of the three because of the habanero pepper, but it also has a touch of sweetness from the mango and the agave nectar to balance the heat.

1 habanero pepper, seeded
1 large or 2 small mangoes, peeled and flesh removed from pit
2  tablespoons  finely chopped shallot
1 1/2  teaspoons  minced fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, cut into pieces
1  tablespoon olive oil
1  teaspoon coriander seeds
1  teaspoon agave nectar
Juice of 2 key limes
Salt, to taste

In a food processor, combine habanero, mango, shallot,  ginger and garlic. Pulse until smooth.

Warm oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add coriander and cook, stirring, until medium brown, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in agave nectar, lime juice and salt.

Pour warm spice mixture over mango mixture and pulse in processor until blended.

Note: This mixture will get hotter as it settles.

Adapted from myrecipes.com.

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