Play Me a Recipe

Cranberry Salsa Macha

October 27, 2021
8 Ratings
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • makes 2 cups
Test Kitchen Notes

This dish is part of Residentsgiving—aka the Thanksgiving menu of our wildest dreams—created by Food52's resident experts-slash-superheroes. Devour the rest of the spread here, and while you're at it, learn how to Remix & Remaster your Thanksgiving.

This recipe was featured on our cook-along podcast Play Me a Recipe. Listen as Rick cooks through this recipe. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3/4 cup raw pecans
  • 8 (48 g/1.69 oz.) chiles guajillo, stemmed and seeded
  • 3 chiles de árbol, stemmed (seeded for mild)
  • 2 tablespoons raw white sesame seeds
  • Kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
  • 2 dried bay leaves, crumbled into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, sweetened
  1. Heat 1 ½ cups oil, garlic and pecans in a large saucepan over medium until garlic is golden brown and oil is lightly bubbling, 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat and use a slotted spoon to transfer garlic and nuts to a heat proof medium bowl. Still off the heat, toss chiles in hot oil until oil turns slightly reddish and chiles are very fragrant and brick red colored, 15-30 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to transfer chiles to garlic mixture and let cool 5 minutes. Add sesame seeds to hot oil and let sit until ready to use.
  2. Purée garlic-chile mixture, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, bay leaves and oregano in a food processor until coarsely ground; with motor running, slowly drizzle in sesame oil mixture until all the oil has been added and chiles and nuts are finely chopped. Add cranberries and pulse to combine. Transfer to a jar, seal and store at room temperature for up to 5 days. After 5 days, chill in the refrigerator.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Liz Summers
    Liz Summers
  • MoMama
  • karishma
  • raeraeledo
Rick Martinez

Recipe by: Rick Martinez

Rick Martinez is currently living his dream—cooking, eating and enjoying the Mexican Pacific coast in Mazatlán. He is finishing his first cookbook, Under the Papaya Tree, food from the seven regions of Mexico and loved traveling the country so much, he decided to buy a house on the beach. He is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit, New York Times and hosts live, weekly cooking classes for Food Network Kitchens. Earlier this year, he was nominated for a James Beard Award for “How to win the Cookie Swap” in Bon Appétit’s holiday issue.

6 Reviews

MoMama April 4, 2022
Just back to let it be known that this salsa macha makes a transcendental grilled cheese. That's all.
karishma March 9, 2022
This was so, so delicious! I've never made salsa macha before, and I loved the twist with the cranberries and pecans. Right after we made it, it tasted a bit more bland and oil-heavy, but after a day or two, the flavors really melded -- all of our Thanksgiving guests loved it. Agreed with the other reviewers that the heat was pretty subtle.

We paired this with lots of dishes, but our favorite was with roasted sweet potatoes or any other roasted potato with a bit of yogurt and lots of the salsa macha dolloped on top. Honestly, we couldn't get enough of it, and I ended up taking spoonfuls straight from the jar. I'm making another batch this week, I honestly don't think we can go without it now.
Liz S. December 19, 2021
I love the flavors ... in my implementation, it seemed a bit heavy on the oil and I made a note to try with less next round. It might have been the hydration of my peppers or ??? Also, I think my cranberries did not have a lot of sweetening. And overall, it might have been my own expectation of a cranberry chile crisp kind of thing.

As far as heat ... again, maybe my arbol chiles ... not much heat. I do not think any fault in recipe, but will adjust for the ingredients I can get.
raeraeledo November 28, 2021
This was so freaking good! I will ALWAYS make and eat this. I served this to over 20 people and everyone raved about it. Thank you for featuring. My life is better bc of it! 😂
Tina November 25, 2021
I was very intrigued but skeptical. I like a little heat but don’t handle spicy well. I’m not sure if the recipe intended for fresh chiles but we only have dried. So I rehydrated. It is the perfect blend of smoky, salty, sweet heat and not too spicy. I’m in love. Making it with pavo al pastor so will see how that turns out tomorrow. Either way, this sauce is phenomenal and I would put it on just about everything
MoMama November 22, 2021
I've never made a salsa macha before and don't think I've ever eaten anything quite like it either. The recipe is divine. I imagine the flavors will continue to meld over the next few days but even after freshly blending, the smell alone is so intoxicating I couldn't stop taking small spoonfuls of it. I can't wait to serve it with a smoked turkey this Thanksgiving in lieu of a traditional cranberry sauce but pretty sure it would make an old shoe taste good. I'm also happy the recipe yields enough that I'll have enough to serve with dinner as well as gift guests with a small jar to take home for themselves, too. Thank you for a brilliant suggestion to switch things up this year and for introducing me to salsa macha!