One of my favorite salsas from Rubio’s is the Red Tomatillo Salsa, but you won’t find it at the salsa bar because it only comes on select tacos such as the Grilled Gourmet Taco with Shrimp. The salsa is made with hard-to-find red tomatillos, which taste very similar to green tomatillos, so that’s what we’ll use in this recipe. You’ll need a food processor or a good blender here to get the right consistency. There is a little habanero in the recipe for heat since the flavorful guajillo chilies are not very hot. You will need to use only one-quarter of a habanero to get the level of spiciness similar to the restaurant version, but if you’re a chilihead like I am, you may want to add in more. Give the salsa a couple of hours to chill, and it’ll be ready to pour over anything that needs a boost of spicy flavor.

1 pound tomatillos
1 ounce (3 to 4) dried guajillo chilies, stems removed
⅓ cup diced white onion
2 cloves garlic
¼ of a fresh habanero pepper, seeded
2 teaspoons lime juice
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
½ cup water
2 tablespoons finely minced cilantro

Cooking method

1-Preheat the broiler to high.

2-Remove the papery skins from the tomatillos and rinse them off, then place them on an aluminum foil–lined baking sheet and put them under the broiler on a rack that is about 4 inches from the heat. Broil for 5 to 7 minutes or until blackened on top, then flip them over and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes or until nicely blackened. Remove the tomatillos from the oven and use tongs to put them in a bowl until you need them.

3-Toast the chilies in a skillet over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until some charring is visible. Place the peppers in a bowl, cover the peppers with hot water, and let them sit for 30 minutes so that they can rehydrate. Place another bowl on top of them to keep the peppers submerged.

4-After 30 minutes, remove the peppers from the water and let the water drip off them. Give the peppers a coarse chop, then add them to a food processor along with the tomatillos, onion, garlic, habanero, lime juice, salt, sugar, and water. Process on high speed for 1 minute or until there are just small bits of chili visible.

5-Pour the salsa into a bowl and stir in the cilantro. Cover and chill for at least a couple of hours before using.

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