Dry toast them on a comal or cast iron over medium heat, moving frequently so as not to burn. They're done when they've turned slightly brown (Nef calls this "Mexican roasting color"-- I say it's tree-trunk brown).
Blend all ingredients together in food processor or blender, adding water as needed just enough to mix. The salsa will be a burnt reddish color and very thick and seedy. (Note: to decrease heat, after toasting the chiles, you can slice each open and de-vein them, but we find that to a be a pain and this is always a favorite among heat lovers)
Sara Franklin is a freelance food writer, oral historian and multi-media storyteller, integrating all that into her work towards a PhD in the Food Studies program at NYU. She's worked at the American Museum of Natural History on their forthcoming food exhibit, as a restaurant critic, farmer, urban agriculture instructor, curriculum designer, pie baker, researcher and anti-poverty advocate. She splits her time between Western Massachusetts and Brooklyn, and makes frequent trips to Brazil, where she is working on a cookbook about the multi-faceted role of manioc (a.k.a. cassava or yuca) root in Brazil's regional cuisines.
Neftali Duran was born in Oaxaca, Mexico, but immigrated to L.A. as a teenager, where he cut his teeth in restaurant kitchens. For the past nine years, he has been rooted in Western Massachusetts as the owner of El Jardin Bakery, an artisanal wood-fired bread bakery. He’s also an avid home cook and makes increasingly frequent appearances as a guest chef, preparing his take on traditional Oaxacan dishes at parties and events. He lives in Sunderland, Massachusetts.
Sally Ekus is a culinary literary agent at The Lisa Ekus Group. When not brokering book deals or assisting clients, she can be found feeding her yen for pho, running marathons and cooking and conceptualizing new dishes that you just can’t believe don’t contain gluten or dairy. She lives in Florence, Massachusetts.