Darkish and nutty with heat spice, salsa macha is an element oil, half chiles, nuts, and seeds. Should you like the recent, garlicky punch of chili crisp, you received’t be capable of get sufficient of Mexico’s sauce hailing from Veracruz and Oaxaca. Salsa macha will get its earthy taste from guajillo chiles and smoky notes from moritas, and only a spoonful provides texture and layered warmth to all the pieces it touches.
In my time as a line cook dinner on the fashionable Mexican restaurant Cosme in New York Metropolis, I might spoon salsa macha over each order of tlayudas. That’s the place I first encountered the sauce—surrounded by corn and chiles, scrambling to get via the restaurant’s notoriously frenetic dinner rush. I cherished it a lot that I might cover some in my lowboy (a fridge beneath a workstation) to secretly drizzle over the day’s employees meal.
Touring round Mexico this summer season, I used to be reminded of my love for the coastal condiment. At brunch one morning at Paradero Lodge in Todos Santos, visiting chef Daniel Burns confirmed up with a charred shrimp tostada topped generously with salsa macha. All of the sudden, I used to be proper again at Cosme, measuring and deseeding the chiles and mixing the salsa to its pleasantly coarse consistency. However one thing was totally different—whereas peanuts have been blended into the sauce at Cosme, right here, I discovered, cashews have been thrown into the combo together with sesame seeds and guajillo chiles. And that is the fantastic thing about salsa macha: It’s endlessly adaptable.
Again in New York, I saved up the momentum. This week, after I noticed colourful heads of cauliflower popping up on the farmers market (they’ll be round via late fall in these elements), it struck me that the vegetable might make an ideal companion to salsa macha. Roasted with candy summery corn, piled on a crispy tostada, and doused within the peppery combination, cauliflower-macha tostadas at the moment are a staple in my kitchen. Actually, although? They’re only a vessel for me to eat extra of my favourite salsa.