Xni-Pec is a Yucatan salsa made with fresh habanero peppers, tomato, onion, sour orange juice and more. It packs some heat, and as the name implies, might make you sweat like a dog's nose.
Sweat like a dog's nose you may, my friends. The fresh habanero peppers in this salsa makes it quite hot, but addictively so. It is pleasant, really, as any fresh salsa can be and you can practically make it with ingredients straight out of your garden. It is quite similar to pico de gallo in both composition and flavor, though quite a bit hotter and more of the typical habanero tropical flavor. The name says it all. Xni Pec, pronounced "Shnee Pek", translates to "Dog's Nose" or "Dog's Snout" in Mayan, which implies you will sweat like a dog's nose when you eat it. I can verify the truth in this statement.
I made this salsa on Saturday and snapped a photo, then posted it on Facebook, sharing how gorgeous it looked - and truly, it DOES look gorgeous, doesn't it? I received a comment from my neighbor to bring it to her party the next day for her son's 8th grade graduation - Congrats, Jacob! While it was a hit at the party - it received many compliments - I think it was mostly a hit with Jacob and his young friend as they proceeded to devour half of the bowl together. They enjoyed the flavor at first, but as the chow down session wore on, both were beading with sweat on their foreheads and attempting to waft the fumes of heat from their mouths. Luckily there was a bit of whipped cream for them at the end of the evening to help control the burn, but I'm happy to say I believe I've converted a few more in the world to chileheads. Yes! Goal accomplished.
You can serve this salsa recipe up right away, as it is quite awesome when fresh, or let it sit covered in the refrigerator at least a couple hours or better yet, overnight, to allow the flavors to develop, just as you would do with a pico de gallo. I like it both ways. Serve this as an appetizer along with chips, or as a garnish for tacos or tostados. I often like to spoon salsa over fish or chicken for a healthier but big-on-flavor meal choice. Xni Pec will certainly deliver on those accounts. I hope you enjoy it as much as the soon-to-be freshmen did!
Patty's Perspective: The citrus in this salsa really tamed the other ingredients to my own personal tastes. Sometimes raw onion can be harsh, but not so with this recipe. It was quite hot, but delicious.
Xni-Pec (Dog’s Nose) - Habanero Salsa - Recipe
- 3 habanero peppers, chopped (or more, as desired)
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- 1 small white onion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh sour orange juice, or 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice + 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice (as a variation, try grapefruit juice)
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- Salt to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix well. Taste and adjust for salt.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight for the flavors to mingle and develop. Serve!