As many of you know, my husband is from the coastal state of Veracruz. The state borders the Gulf of Mexico and has been influenced by trade from Europe and Africa for centuries. The cuisine of the Veracruz region is a direct reflection of this influence. Many recipes incorporate ingredients like plantains and peanuts (from Africa), as well as olives, olive oil, and capers (from Spain).
On one of my first trips to Poza Rica, Veracruz, Roberto’s sister, Frida, invited me to eat at a very famous outdoor food stand called “Sopes de la Doce.” Sopes are a Mexican snack made with corn masa. They are usually topped with beans or salsa and cheese. Sopes de la Doce is known for its unique peanut salsa. Up to that point, I had never tasted anything like it. It was spicy yet creamy, and it paired so nicely with the scrumptious sope.
Recently, I was invited to join Esteban of Chicano Eats in a Chip & Dip pairing to celebrate March Madness, the arrival of spring, and launch of Good Health’s new tortilla chips: one made with vegetables and sea salt and the other made with black beans and rice.
I love that both of these chips are part of the non-GMO project, and I was excited to see that the Black Bean & Rice chips are organic, too! Yay! The black bean chips reminded me of the base of a Veracruz-style sope, so I thought they would be perfect with a creamy peanut salsa.
This is my version of the “Sopes de la Doce” peanut salsa that I tried many years ago with Frida in Poza Rica, Veracuz. It has a smoky flavor from the morita chiles, and the peanuts provide a distinct nutty taste. I absolutely love the creaminess of this salsa thanks to the nuts and olive oil.
It would be perfect on a sandwich, too! I hope you enjoy the flavors of Roberto’s hometown.
For other chip & dip pairings, check out these blog posts:
Salsa de cacahuate y chipotle estilo pozarricense
Salsa – Makes 1.5 cups
½ cup unsalted peanuts
2-3 medium plum or Roma tomatoes, cut in half
1 garlic clove
1 small slice of white onion (about ½ – inch)
1+ tsp Himalayan salt
¼ cup olive oil
Water (if necessary)
→Remove stem, seeds, and veins from the morita chiles. Be careful because these chiles tend to be hot and the oils can get under your fingernails*. Lightly toast the chiles on a dry comal/skillet for 2-3 minutes. They should smell fragrant. Be careful not to burn them or your salsa will taste better. Remove and set aside.
→Lightly toast the peanuts. Once again, be careful not to burn them. They should smell slightly fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
→Roast the tomatoes, garlic clove, and onion until charred on the outside. Remove from heat and place in a blender. Add toasted chiles, peanuts, and salt. Blend on medium-high speed to combine. Then, add in the olive oil to make an even creamier salsa.
→If the salsa is too thick to blend, you may need to add a little water to emulsify it.
- Morita chiles look like large raisins. They are dark purple to black in color and smell smoky. You can find them at any Mexican/Latin grocery store.
- Sometimes I like to wear gloves when removing the seeds and veins from the chiles to prevent my fingers from tingling afterwards.