Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Charred Tomato Salsa

I realized today that I had not yet made any salsa with this season's home grown tomatoes. How could that be?! It's one of my husband's 4 favorite food groups - tortilla chips, salsa, bread, and cheese. There weren't many ripe tomatoes left in the garden today, but fortunately I had enough left from previous pickings to make a batch of my favorite salsa (he likes it too).

Charred Tomato Salsa

3 fresh green New Mexico type chiles, OR 3 dried Ancho chiles
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 pound sweet onions, peeled, trimmed and cut crosswise into 3 thick slices
4 serrano or other hot chiles
2 pounds ripe tomatoes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
sugar if needed, to taste

Heat a griddle or large fry pan over medium heat.

If using the fresh chiles, blacken them over an open flame or under a broiler, place in a bowl and cover. Set them aside while preparing the rest of the ingredients. Before putting the salsa together, remove the blacken skins, the cores, and the seeds.

If using the dried chiles, cut them open so that they can lay flat and remove the core and seeds. Press them with a large spatula for just a few seconds on the hot griddle to toast them lightly, don't allow them to blacken. Place in a bowl and cover with very hot water, weight them down to keep them submerged. Set aside while preparing the rest of the ingredients. Once the flesh of the chiles has softened, scrape it off the skin and set it aside. Don't try to get every bit of flesh off the skin (impossible) and don't worry about little bits of skin that star with the flesh. If it seems a bit chunky plop it onto your cutting board and mince it into a puree.

Place the garlic, onion, and hot chiles on the griddle, no greasing is required. Cook, turning a few times, until everything is softened and has nice brown spots. Set aside to cool. Remove the stems and the cores and seeds from the chiles.

While the garlic, onion, and hot chiles are browning, char the tomatoes over an open flame or under a broiler until the skin becomes blackened. It's not necessary to blacken the entire tomato and it will not be cooked completely through. Set the tomatoes aside.

To put the salsa together you can mince the garlic, and chop the green chiles (if using), onion, and tomatoes, and mix everything together. OR you can use a food processor. To process the salsa, first mince the garlic and a couple of the hot chiles by dropping them through the feed tube into the processor while it is running, then add the green chiles or ancho chile puree, the onions, and the tomatoes and pulse to a desired consistency (I like mine a little chunky). Put into a mixing bowl and mix in the rest of the ingredients. I recommend putting in half of the hot chiles and tasting and adding more minced hot chile to taste. Taste to see if it needs a little bit of sugar.

Browning the onions, hot chiles, and garlic

Charring the tomatoes


I didn't have a green chiles to use for the salsa (my favorite version), but I did have dried ancho chiles from 2 years ago that were still great.

1 comment:

  1. Oh.. how lovely it is mouth watering to lokk at your pictures even if it's only 9.30 here in the morning...I love tortilla and salsa too and a cold beer perfect summer snack./ Tyra


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