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VERACRUZ SALSA
(Tomato Chile Salsa)

2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 plum tomato
1 tablespoon corn oil
12 morita chiles with seeds or 8 dried chipotle chiles with seeds
1 1/2 cups hot water
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt, or to taste

Heat a dry comal or flat iron griddle over moderately low heat
until hot and pan-roast garlic and tomato, turning them occasionally
to ensure even roasting, until browned and soft throughout, about
25 to 30 minutes. Discard garlic skins and tomato stem.

In a heavy skillet heat oil over moderately high heat until hot
but not smoking and, using tongs, fry chiles, 1 or 2 at a time,
turning them, until puffed and just beginning to brown, about 10
seconds. Transfer chiles as fried, letting excess oil drip into
skillet, to paper towels to drain and, wearing rubber gloves,
discard stems.

In a blender puree garlic, tomato, chiles, water, and salt until
very smooth. (Salsa may be made 2 days ahead and chilled, covered.)
Makes about 2 cups.

Serves 4.

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