Back when I was growing up sometimes in the winter there were no fresh jalapenos or serranos to make fresh salsa. My grandmother always had her stash of dried chile peppers, such as anchos, guajillos, mulatos,and that little chile de arbol. There were more I just can't name them all right now. She could whip up an incredible salsa with these dried chile peppers and they packed a whallop. Bottom line there was always a delicious spicy salsa on the table at meal time. Here is my grandma's recipe for Salsa Roja de Arbol. Buen apetito Enjoy
In a frying pan heat two tablespoons oil and add the dried chiles de arbol. Make sure you have your extracter on over the stove because the chiles will give off a strong acrid smell. Do not take your eyes off the chiles. You should have the fry pan on medium heat so as to not burn the peppers they will burn fast. If you have no extractor open a window for ventilation. Saute peppers for just a minute or so. Keep moving them around until they change color from a deep red to a brown or yellow. Do not burn them. Remove from the fry pan and set inside a deep bowl add the 1/2 cup boiling water and let them steep in the bowl. P. S. If your chiles should burn start over because they will impart a bitter flavor to your salsa.
Next add your remaining oil (3 tablespoons) to the fry pan When oil is hot add your quartered tomatoes, onions, and garlic to the hot oil. Saute the veggies until they get somewhat soft and brown a little you do not need to break them down. Just keep moving everything around so they can cook evenly. This should take about 3 to 4 minutes.
Next remove the veggies from the heat set aside for a minute. You will need to use a large blender and add the soaked chile peppers and water to the blender. Now blend for a minute on high turn off the blender and add the sauteed veggies (tomatoes, onions and garlic)to the blender. Before blending add the salt, cumin powder, garlic powder and now blend on a low speed until all is broken down. You may add a little more salt or cumin powder to your taste. You might have to add a little more water to make a good consistency. Taste the salsa it should be spicy. If you don't like your salsa very spicy hot you can use less chiles de arbol. If you like it real spicey just add more chiles. Cover your salsa and let meld for a bit serve over tacos, meat or any where you want to spice up your food. Salsa will keep in the fridge for over a week providing it's covered.
You can find dried chiles de Arbol at any Mexican or Latino food market that sells Mexican foods. You can also find dried Anchos, Mulatos, Guajillos and Arbol chiles where ever they sell Mexican food products. Good luck