I am not a football fan by any stretch of the imagination, but what I do get excited about is the food! Making a selection of yummy snacks is where it's at for me. And this Chile de Uña is perfect for the occasion - delicious, super easy to make and a crowd pleaser for sure!
This particular recipe for Chile de Uña comes from Guadalajara, Mexico. Since I tried it, I have done lots of research but have yet to find anything quite like it. The name translates to “Fingernail Chile”. It is said that in the old days, when men went to work in the fields, their wives would follow to prepare their food. Due to the lack of proper cooking utensils (like knives), women would prepare this recipe by cutting or pinching the ingredients with their fingernails. While the thought of this is not that appealing, it does explain the name.
There are many recipes for Chile de Uña. They often include tomatoes, lime juice, cilantro or even carrots - giving it more of a likeness to a Pico de Gallo. I can only think that this version is an attempt to modernize a traditional recipe.
When I was in Guadalajara, I had this recipe made with Queso Fresco, that mild fresh cheese available everywhere in Mexico. Queso Fresco is not readily available in Ottawa, so I substitute Feta and it gives the dish a slightly different flavor, and while it is not traditional, it is nonetheless delicious.
This recipe is very easy to prepare. The tangy flavor of the tomatillos combines with the saltiness of the feta cheese perfectly. The onion is there to give it balance and the chipotles give it smoke and spice. Depending on the cheese you use, you may or may not need any salt. And if your tomatillos are too acidic, you may need to add a touch of sugar to balance the flavors. Just make sure you let the salsa rest a little bit before serving it, so that everything melds together. And all that liquid that accumulates on the bottom? As my friend Rick says - we could make a cocktail out of that!
Chile de Uña
Tomatillo, Chipotle and Cheese Salsa
450g (about 10 medium) husked, washed and diced small (about 2 ¼ cups)
½ cup onion, minced
1-2 Tbsp chipotle chile in adobo, minced (to taste)
3/4 cup queso fresco or feta cheese, cut into ¼” dice
Salt to taste
Sugar to taste
Corn chips or tostadas to serve
In medium bowl, combine tomatillos, onion and chipotles. Mix well. Add cheese and mix gently. Check your seasonings and add salt only if necessary. If salsa is too acidic, add a pinch of sugar.
Serve with chips or tostadas.
* Depending on the type of cheese you use, you may or may not need salt.
** If you want to serve this as a salad, cut tomatillos, onions and cheese a bit larger and you can serve it on a lettuce cup for a nice presentation.
Makes about 2 cups
This recipe was first featured at www.thelatinkitchen.com