Roasted tomato and onion salsa (a.k.a the legendary orange sauce)

Inspired by La Victoria Taqueria in the South Bay, this fabled orange sauce is rich, silky and infused with flavors of roasted vegetables and smokey chipotle. Tacolicious executive chef Telmo Faria has admittedly spent years trying to replicate the recipe, and swears that La Vic’s success has ridden on the back of this magical orange salsa. After hearing all sorts of rumors about how it was made, he eventually put a close enough version together himself. The secret, he says, is in roasting all the vegetables to extract deep, savory and somewhat sweet flavors. Then there’s a smooth, velvety texture that comes from blending all the ingredients together with a significant amount of oil. 


2 Roma tomatoes
1 small yellow onion, peeled
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup chile de árbol, stemmed
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 cup vegetable oil

Place on an oven rack in the center of the oven and turn on the broiler. Place the tomatoes and onions on the pan and roast until both are slightly charred and soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Next heat 2 tablespoons canola oil over a saute pan on medium-high heat. When hot, add the garlic cloves and cook until brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Then add the dried chiles de arbol and cook until slightly toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. (Be careful not to burn them).

Place the chilies and garlic into a blender and pour the apple cider vinegar and 1/2 cup water over. Allow to soak for about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, onions and salt to the blender and let sit until completely cool. The trick here is to make sure the mixture is completely cool to allow it to properly emulsify.

Next puree the mixture on high speed in a blender until smooth. After that, turn the speed of the blender to low and through the small opening on top, pour the canola oil in a slow and steady stream until the sauce is creamy. If it’s not creamy enough, add more oil.

 The sauce will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.