It starts with one innocent dunk.  You select a tasty victim from the basket of assorted toasted pita chips, fried green plantains and blue corn chips on the table and go in for the kill.  Scooping up just enough salsa to coat half of the delivery vehicle, you're like a chocolatier dipping candied orange peel or pineapple slices into a tub of glistening, melted heaven. And then it's crunch time. And repeat.  And repeat. And repeat.

Executive Chef Oscar del Rivero hesitated momentarily before divulging the recipe for his "House Sauce" -- always a good sign.  But thanks to my truth serum, he was soon dividing it into home-friendly quantities.

If you like your salsa medium, please don't buy it from a jar.  This is just too good and too easy to make to allow yourself to surrender to vacuum-sealed sodium.

House Sauce at Jaguar Ceviche Spoon Bar & LATAM Grill

Yields 2 quarts (serves 8)

2 cups white onion, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
8 cups plum tomato, chopped
4 cups guajillo chile
4 cups chile de arbol

>In a large saute pan, caramelize the onions (about 5 minutes on medium to high heat)

>Add the garlic to caramelize (about 3 minutes more)

>Add the tomatoes and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes

>Add whole chiles and cook for another 5 minutes

>Season with salt and puree (you may want to let it cool for 30 minutes before putting in the blender or food processor...)

Note about accompanying munchies for service...  While the mixed chips at Jaguar are a perfect match, this salsa's creaminess would even work well with a veggie crudite.  I'd try blanched haricot vert, asparagus and cauliflower.  If you're feeling healthful, it would hands down beat a cream-based dip!

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