Sandwich Sunday

←  Pancetta Hash w/ Goat Cheese

  →Carne Asada & Corn Tacos

(Almost Famous) Tepin Salsa  //  

Sandwich Sunday // Tepin Salsa 1

I have two abilities of which I’m definitely a bit overly proud.

The first is my tree-climbing ability, but that (usually) has nothing to do with food. (We’ll save my rant regarding shaved palm trees for another day.)

The second, and more relevant, is my salsa-making ability. When it comes to this recipe in particular, I’m like an oblivious, proud parent; I’m 85-percent sure that this is the best salsa in the world. Someday, it’ll be famous.

Ok, fine – it won’t be famous. But it is, actually, close to half-decent.

Sandwich Sunday // Tepin Salsa 2

Sandwich Sunday // Tepin Salsa 3

There are two things that make this recipe unique. First, it uses canned tomatoes. I know, I know – sacrilege. Whole, peeled, San Marzano tomatoes, however, give this salsa some much-needed sweetness. Second, it gets its heat from tepin peppers. A buddy turned me on to these little fireballs a few years back, and I’ve used them in this recipe ever since. Yah, they’re hot – but they also impart a really unique flavor upon the finished salsa. They’re worth tracking down.

(On that note: getting your mitts on some tepin can be difficult, especially if you live outside the Southwest. I apologize for that. If you ask reeeaaal nice, however, I’ll send you one of my many bags. I tend to stock up on the stuff.)

Tepin Salsa

Makes a medium-sized bowl

  • 1 28-ounce can whole, peeled, San Marzano tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 red onion, rough chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and rough chopped
  • juice of 1-2 limes
  • 1 jalapeno, stem and seeds removed, rough chopped
  • 1 handful cilantro leaves
  • 6-8 dried tepin peppers (for medium heat)
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 good glug olive oil
  • 1 large avocado (optional), peeled and diced
  1. Combine all ingredients, less the tepin, in a large food processor.
  2. Add the tepin peppers, crushing them before adding them to the mixture. Be careful – tepin peppers are super hot. If you crush them between your fingers, wash your hands immediately after handling them.
  3. Pulse the mixture until the salsa is smooth, but still textured.
  4. (Optional) Before serving, fold in the diced avocado.

Starting the week off right to:

Posted by Chris on 10/8/12 in Sauces Snacks & Such


  1. ryan

    Kelly wants to know what a glug is?

    • Chris

      Haha – good question. I’ll measure one out for her tonight. Call it 1 tablespoon. My lazy way of saying “pour a little of that crap in, too”. You know, a “glug” – just wing it.

  2. Akshai


    How would this work with ghost peppers instead of the tepin? I’m not sure if ghost are hotter but if so maybe I could just scale down the number of peppers?

    • Chris

      The tepin chiles are small, round peppers that come dried. When crushed, they look similar to regular red pepper flakes. Ghost chiles, as I understand, are more like a Habanero – which I have not tried in this recipe. I have, however, simply added the entire jalapeno (with the seeds) to the salsa instead of using the tepin. Hope that helps!

  3. kathy


    I grew repubs peppers in my yard this year. How can I dry them for the recipe?
    ( New to this )

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>