Salsas and Moles
Fresh and Authentic Recipes for Pico de Gallo, Mole Poblano, Chimichurri, Guacamole, and More
by Deborah Schneider
A collection of 60 authentic salsa and mole recipes from acclaimed chef/restaurateur Deborah Schneider, adapted for US kitchens.
America has a new favorite condiment: salsa
And with good reason—a great salsa makes a big impression with just a little bite. In Salsas and Moles, award-winning chef Deborah Schneider explores a wide variety of favorites, from classic table salsas to mole and enchilada sauces, plus chunky salsas and snacks. While some people think salsa is all about heat, Schneider teases out fresh flavors from chiles, fruits, and herbs, creating authentic recipes that showcase the unique flavors of Mexico.
With serving suggestions for each salsa, and recipes for popular sauces such as Salsa Verde, Enchilada Sauce, and Mango-Habanero Salsa, any salsa lover will be able to find their perfect match.
Overall Score: 4.5
I have used other Mexican cookbooks, but this one is the most thorough one I have seen on the Mexican sauce topic. It has an impressive appendix of ingredients, including many that you will find only in a Mexican grocery store. It also has helpful salsa making techniques.
I followed all of these recipes exactly as written.
The first recipe I followed was the Northern Salsa. It was described as a simple… and that’s exactly what it was. I had never before made salsa by boiling fresh tomatoes, but it turned out great—just like you would expect from a restaurant. My only critique is that the author neglected to describe an effective means for coring out the stem. Her method of smashing it up into salsa left a large piece of the core that wasn’t fun to eat. Might just be my Romas, though.
Pickled Carrots. “eat along side tacos”
I have very little to no experience with pickling, but I still felt like an old pro with this recipe. The instructions were easy to follow and the preparation time was quick. I actually ended up making this twice; once following the recipe and the a second time by slicing the peppers into rings. This stuff is amazing on crackers and cheese, so the half a pepper didn’t fit very well. Perhaps that’s not an authentic Mexican technique, but it tasted really good to me. This salsa has a distinct vinegar flavor. A friend of mine suggested that this could be diminished with a milder “cider” like vinegar, but I like the gleek inducing flavor. The carrots and onions in this sometimes end up getting more heat than the peppers, which is also pretty amazing.
Red Chile Salsa (for Meat Tacos)
I’m convinced that the author’s spicy hot meter is broken. She has a sauce that is nothing but Habeneros that weighs in at only a “6” on her hot meter. This Red Chili sauce is extremely spicy for me, but the flavor is very good and the color is a vibrant red. It’s mostly made up of dried Puya and Guajillo Chiles. I had it on tacos and will never again buy store bought taco sauce. Easy with very little clean up.
This simple guac is easy to make and uses a Serrano pepper to drive the heat. I think I like this one better than my own recipe.
For being a smaller trim size than a standard cookbook this baby packs a large amount of easy to make recipes that taste great. Some of the ingredients can be hard to find but what you get makes up for the extra time tracking down the ingredients.
She also included a large glossary of ingredients, an guide to chiles with pictures, and some very helpful salsa making techniques.
The recipes I made are written very well so there was no confusion in making them. I think the only thing that I was confusing was that she did not always specify whether you should use dried or fresh chilies in particular recipes. Because I couldn’t find a particular “fresh” chili here in the mid-west I did use a dried one and the sauce came out just fine. Also, because the recipes are mostly dips and sauces, they are perfect for smaller households.
Singlearity Score: 4
how single friendly the recipes are
Flavor Score: 5
how tasty the recipes are
Easy Score: 4
recipe difficulty level
Overall Score: 4.3