A homemade smoked dip from the heart of Las Alpujarras, Sierra Nevada, Andalusia Spain. Organically and ecologically produced sauce made in a clay oven using local produce grown in Cortijos Rey Fini.
Ingredients: Chilli, Tomatoes, peppers, aubergine, garlic, salt, wild thyme and olive oil
The story behind the sauce:
Mo Fini, the founder of Tumi Crafts in Uk has spent some 35 years travelling back and forth to Latin America, and in particular to Mexico where he has a small house in Guadalajara living with some old Mexican friends. He loves to spend time there with craftsmen and also in the kitchen with Mexican friends preparing food, often very hot food with chilli being the most important ingredient. There are over 20 types of chillies used regularly in Mexican typical dishes such as the famous Mole which has 16 types of chillies as well as chocolate. When you have breakfast, chilli sauce is poured on your fried eggs, when you have a torta (sandwich) mid-day you eat at least half a dozen chillies with it and in the evening the table is decorated with various chilli sauces, either red or green. Mo got so addicted to eating everything with Chilli sauce that in his permanent home in the UK just as in Mexico, much of the house is like a field of chillies, growing in pots around the house and of course there is always Chilli sauce on the table.
When Mo and his wife Lucy bought their small farm in Las Alpujarras, Andalusia in Spain, the first thing Mo cultivated was Mexican chillies, green Mexican lantern tomatoes (tomatillos) and organic vegetables. They called their farm “Cortijos Rey Fini”, Cortijo is a Moorish word meaning farm house or cottage and since the farm has been known as Cortijos del Rey ie the king cottages, then Mo added Fini to the end of it and they became Cortijos Rey Fini. Also as they rent their three cortijos during the summer the guests can help themselves to all the organic chillies and vegetables which are grown on the land. During the summer of 2013 Mo decided to dry and smoke all the excess chillies, tomatoes and vegetables grown on land in the big clay oven which is built outside the cortijos.
“What I have learnt over the last 35 years is not simply to eat hot chilli sauce on a daily basis but also how to make it. Of course the ingredients are important but how to use those ingredients is just as important “says Mo.
The chilli dip or salsa must have several qualities: To taste hot, to have a smoky burnt bitter taste and above all have no sugar or unnatural ingredients or preservative added to it.
It will taste much better if the ingredients are organic and grown naturally in the open air in the sun rather than under plastic with artificial additives.
So, having all the ingredients at hand Mo started putting his famous recipe into action. Chillies, tomatoes, aubergine and garlic all go into the large clay oven at around midnight in big pots and are left there for around 24 hours to cook and bake slowly with olive wood and logs.
All these ingredients which are beautifully roasted and baked for over 10 hours then get mixed up with salt and wild thyme, which grows wild around the cortijos,. The mixture is put in a big pot and then boiled until the texture is just right. It is then left to cool down before local virgin olive oil, salt and pepper are added and then the salsa is bottled. When they are all bottled the jars are put into a big pot and boiled for about half an hour and that is it! The result – a delicious organic dip!