Do you have a favorite restaurant? Hands down, for us it’s Javi’s Fine Mexican Foods in Modesto. Great Margaritas, a wide selection of entrees and warm chips served with a spicy picante to wet your appetite.
While the food servers offer to bring diners Chips and Salsa, what they are serving isn’t a salsa sauce at all. It’s a Picante Sauce in every sense of the word. At it’s base, a Picante is made with only six ingredients- tomato, garlic, onion, jalapeno, salt and pepper. Everything is placed in a blender to create a pureed sauce. Salsas tend to be chunky. Sometimes the tomatoes or tomatillos at the heart of a salsa are roasted. Often the peppers are roasted. While I do blend the tomatillos and peppers for my Spicy Tomatillo-Tomato Salsa, the tomatoes and onions are added raw, chopped rather than blended to give texture.
Picante is Spanish for spicy. So Picante Sauce means Spicy Sauce. It can be added to dishes, used as a condiment for tacos or served with chips as a dip. The best part of a Picante is how easy it is to make. I’m not sure I’ll ever buy commercial Picante Sauce again. Not when homemade takes minutes to whip up. And I have full control over spice level. It’s our new favorite for so many reasons. Hope this becomes a favorite in your house, too.
Home-made Picante Sauce
1 (14 oz) can Diced Tomatoes
1/2 cup Yellow Onion
2 Jalapeno Peppers
1 Garlic Clove
1/2 cup Cilantro
1 tablespoon New Mexican Red Chili Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
5 drops Hot Pepper Sauce
Drain diced tomatoes. While the tomatoes drain, peel and coarsely chop onion.. Stem jalapeno peppers, cut in half and set aside. Peel garlic, cut in half, set aside Snip cilantro, set aside.
Place drained tomatoes into a blender. Add onions, pepper, garlic and cilantro to the blender.
Zest lime over the blender. Cut lime in half, juice directly into the blender. Season with chili powder, salt and hot pepper sauce.
Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning. Place in a glass container. Chill until ready to serve.
Once chilled, to serve place in a salsa bowl and serve with chips. Enjoy!
Note: This works well as a sauce to add to other dishes such as tacos or to spice up refried beans.