Citizens, TFD is finishing his visit to his sister-in-law and boyfriend in the south Mexico tourist paradise of Playa del Carmen and has sampled some truly stunning cuisine while here!
Despite dreading the heat, humidity and the ever-present temptation of his tender flesh to the ravenous mosquitos of death, he has indeed persevered! The food, amazing Mayan ruins and family trump any threat of Dengue Fever or other terrors conjured up in my fertile and febrile imagination! Plus, the opportunity to sample this magnificent salsa in its home country was truly worthy of any risk to life or limb!
Xni Pec is a classic, very hot salsa enjoyed throughout the Yucatan peninsula region of Mexico, including Quintana Roo and Yucatan itself, and is typically smeared very thinly over tacos before being devoured with plenty of water or beer to quench its fiery heat. The fresh habanero peppers used in quantity in this salsa makes it quite hot, but addictively so.
It is similar to pico de gallo (beak of the rooster) in both composition and flavor, though quite a bit hotter and possessing much more of the typical habanero’s tropical flavor. The name says it all. Xni Pec, pronounced “Shnee Pek”, translates to “Dog’s Snout” in Mayan, which implies you will sweat like a dog’s nose when you eat it.
The fruity taste of the habaneros, along with their citrusy aroma, go particularly with the sour orange juice in the salsa and makes it a good accompaniment for fish, chicken or just enjoyed straight for a fiery accompaniment with tortilla chips.
My version adds a few optional but delicious additions to the classic recipe and calls for a mixture of lime and orange juices for the difficult-to-find sour orange used in Mexico.
Battle on – The GeneralissimoPrint
- 2 habanero chilies (yellow and orange), charred over a flame, peeled, de-seeded and mashed to a paste
- 1 green jalapeno chili, charred over a flame, peeled, de-seeded and mashed to a paste (original recipe used red habanero)
- 2 tablespoons key lime juice (preferred) or regular Persian lime juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- 2 plum tomatoes, finely diced
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- ¼ cup purple onion, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, baked, peeled and mashed (TFD addition, optional)
- 8 tbsp avocado oil
- 1 ½ tbsp minced fresh oregano (TFD addition, optional)
- 2 small radishes, finely diced
- pinch of salt
- Chop the onion very finely, using a knife (don’t use a food processor), and scoop it into a strainer; rinse under cold water. Shake as much of the water off as possible, then transfer to a small bowl and stir in the combined lime and orange juices. Set aside.
- Core the tomatoes, then cut in half crosswise; squeeze out the seeds. Finely dice the tomatoes (about ¼ inch cubes). Scoop into a bowl. Slice the radishes 1/16-inch thick, then chop into small dice. Add to the tomatoes.
- Add the habanero, roasted garlic and jalapeno paste to the tomatoes. Bunch up the cilantro sprigs, and, with a very sharp knife, slice them 1/16-inch thick, stems and all, working from the leafy end toward the stems. Add minced oregano to cilantro and stir to combine.
- Add all the ingredients to a bowl and then mix thoroughly to combine, taste and season with salt as required to your taste. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to combine.
- Category: Recipes
- Calories: 263.15 kcal
- Sugar: 1.98 g
- Sodium: 40.24 mg
- Fat: 28.12 g
- Saturated Fat: 3.26 g
- Trans Fat: 0.0 g
- Carbohydrates: 3.69 g
- Fiber: 0.84 g
- Protein: 0.56 g
- Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
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