Marcos Carbajal, the owner of Carnitas Uruapan, shares his recipes for two delicious condiments from his beloved Pilsen taqueria: a classic red salsa of jalapeños and cooked tomatoes (his twist: adding pickled jalapeños along with the fresh ones for extra acidity, which “makes it pair well with pork and acts as a natural preservative,” he says) and a bright, creamy avocado salsa that’s a staff favorite.

Marcos Carbajal’s Avocado Salsa

Yield:2 cups
Active Time:10 minutes
Total time:10 minutes

2 Ripe avocados
  Juice of 3 limes
½ cup Water
½ cup Chopped white onion
¼ cup Chopped cilantro
2–3 Serranos, chopped
1–2 Garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup Olive oil


A peeled avocado

Scoop out the avocado flesh, and add to a blender along with lime juice, water, onion, cilantro, serranos, garlic, and olive oil. Blend until smooth.

Season with salt to taste, and add water to adjust consistency if desired.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, with the avocado pit added to maintain freshness.


Marcos Carbajal’s Jalapeño and Tomato Salsa

Yield:4 cups
Active Time:5 minutes
Total time:25 minutes

4–5 Roma tomatoes (about 1 lb.)
1 Fresh jalapeño
2 tsp. Garlic powder
2 Pickled jalapeños
½ cup Chopped onion
¼ cup Chopped cilantro
½ cup Jalapeño brine (from the pickled jalapeño jar)


Boiling tomatoes

Add tomatoes, fresh jalapeño, and garlic powder to a pot of boiling water and cook until vegetables are soft to the touch (about 10 minutes).

Drain the vegetables, reserving the water, and transfer to a blender. Add pickled jalapeños and 1 cup of the cooking water.

Pulse until salsa is chunky (about 4 to 6 times).

Transfer salsa to a large bowl and add the onion and cilantro.

Stir in the jalapeño brine and salt to taste. If necessary, add more cooking water to give the salsa a chunky but wet consistency. Salsa will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.