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Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Salsa - Spicy but Tame(ish)

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For Fire in the Hole, we made a salsa that used the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion chili. Wanted to experiment and see if we could make a salsa that would be attractive to Chili Heads but to tame the heat enough so that the flavor would be accessible to others who may want to venture safely into the spicy realm of the super-hots. We also wanted to use chipotle style dried chili to give the salsa a smoky flavor reminiscent of country bar-b-ques and all the good memories they bring.

At Fire in the Hole we ran out of the entire batch. This and the fact that folks said they loved it says that we came pretty close to the mark.

The recipe was ad hoc, but here's a version that will be near to what we made. Quantities are approximate. Adjust for what you have on hand or for what seems right. The salsa comes out as a fresh pico de gallo ... crisp and crunchy. Great on chips but also wonderful as a topping on grilled chicken, steak tips, salad, or what have you.

Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Salsa

2 cps mild fresh red chili, e.g., Chimayó
2 medium-large fresh tomatoes
15-20 fresh tomatillos
1 fresh Trinidad Moruga Scorpion chili
1 fresh medium onion
3 fresh cloves of garlic
1 crushed dry chipotle Chimayó (about 2-3 tbsp)

1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp lime juice

1/4 tsp Xanthan gum (optional)

1 cp cilantro


  • chop finely the fresh ingredients and mix together in large bowl
  • grind the dry chipotle Chimayó into small flakes and stir in the wet ingredients
  • stir everything together and sprinkle in the salt and sugar
  • add the vinegar, stir, add the lime juice, and stir well
  • if you want to thicken the juice, optionally add the Xanthan gum - best to use an electric mixer and slowly sprinkle in the gum with the mixer running - mix for a minute or so
  • gently fold in the cilantro by hand until it is well blended

Serve in a dish or wide mouth tumblers. Garnish with thin wedges of lime and a sprig of cilantro.

Put out chips and stand back. A bowl of sour cream nearby with a spoon will provide a cool haven from the heat for those that get overwhelmed. Even for Chili Heads, sour cream is good as a base between chip and salsa!


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