Bienvenidos a Los Dos: Recipes

About Chef David Sterling

  K’uut bi Ik Download PDF


Smoky & hot chile table salsa

THIS FIERY RED CHILE TABLE SALSA is also sometimes known by the Spanish/Mayan hybrid name of Chile K’uut. K’uut in Mayan means “crushed or pounded” and ik is the Mayan word for chile. It is impossible to enter a humble Maya home in the pueblos without seeing a pool of this deep red sauce at the bottom of a stone tamul, or mortar and pestle. K’uut bi ik is virtually the same concept as Chile Tamulado, but for some reason it bears a different name, and most cooks use the tiny, dried red chile seco (chile de país) rather than the habanero. The authentic method is to pound and grind the chiles with liquid in a tamul, but you may use a blender for faster results. Local cooks often use water instead of sour orange juice, making it one of the simplest salsas in Mexico and revealing its ancient origins. But in spite of its simplicity, it is fragrant, smoky and packs a punch.

10-20 servings

• 30 chiles secos plus 5 to finish (Substitute: 20 chiles de arbol plus 5 to finish), stemmed and seeded
• ½ cup (115ml) water or naranja agria juice (Also known as sour orange or Seville orange. Substitute: 2 parts lime juice, 1 part each orange juice and grapefruit juice)
• Pinch sea salt

STEP 1  PLACE ALL BUT RESERVED CHILES along with water or juice and salt in a blender. Liquefy on high for 2-3 minutes or until chiles are pulverized.

STEP 2  ADD RESERVED CHILES to the blender jar and pulse lightly so that small pieces of the chile are visible in the sauce.

STEP 3  POUR SALSA into a small serving bowl and allow to rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes prior to serving in order to intensify flavors. The salsa keeps well refrigerated for 2 weeks.

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