Lately, friday's have just been too busy for me to get around to posting a recipe. So I decided to switch my recipe posts to saturday. I'll try to be reliable about posting a recipe every saturday.
I tried making homemade salsa for the first time about about two months ago. Once I'd made a batch of homemade, that was pretty much the end of buying salsa. It's really easy to make, and fresh is just so much better than anything out of a jar. When it takes just five minutes of cooking to make, there's just no reason to pay someone else for a jar of something that's not nearly as good.
This recipe isn't much to look at. It's a tomato salsa - it looks pretty much like a salsa you'd buy in a store, except that it's a paler pink, because the tomatoes weren't cooked down. But in terms of taste, it's an absolute knockout.
The original version of this recipe came from Mark Miller's Salsa cookbook., which is a fantastic little book. But since I first made it, I've made enough changes that it's really a very different salsa. Obviously, I like mine better :-).
- 6 plum tomatoes.
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 onion, finely minced
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Juice of 1 lime.
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
In the instructions, I'm assuming you have a gas stove. If you don't, you can do almost the same thing by laying things on a pan and putting them under a pre-heated broiler. It's not quite the same, but it's close.
- Impale a tomato on a barbeque fork. Turn the flame on your stove on high, and hold the tomato in the flame until the skin in the flame chars. Rotate the tomato until all of the skin is well-charred. Do this for all of the tomatoes.
- Break a clump of 4 garlic cloves off the head, and put them on the bbq fork. Put them in the flame, and turn slowly until the skin is completely burnt off the cloves, and the outside of the garlic cloves are charred.
- With a paper towel, brush the charred outside off of both the tomatoes and the garlic. Then put the garlic into the food processor and it until the garlic is finely minced. Then add 2/3s of the tomatoes, and again, run it intil they're all minced.
- Put a pan on the stove on high heat. Put a bit of oil to the bottom of the pan, and add 1/2 of the onions. Cook them until they're well carmelized.
- Add both the cooked and raw onions to the mix in the food processor.
- Mince one chipotle in adobe sauce, and add it to the food processor. Pulse it once or twice to mix things in.
- Move the stuff from the food processor into a mixing bowl.
- Chop the remaining tomatoes, and add them to the bowl. (This gives you a nice bit of chunky texture.)
- Add the salt, sugar, lime juice, and cilantro, and mix.
And that's it. The best damn tomato salsa you've ever tasted.
On of the really fun things about a home-made salsa like this is that it's really flexible. You can (and should!) play around with it. You can add minced or roasted fresh chiles for more heat. A splash of tequila in addition to the lime juice is a nice change. You could add a bit of cumin when you're cooking the onions. Raw garlic gives it a nice edge in addition to the mellowed flavor of the charred garlic. You can add some sauteed fresh corn. Or some minced raw tomatoes that haven't been cooked at all.
You can use it with fresh chips, or as a sauce on tacos. You can use it in place of ketchup on a burger. It would be absolutely fantastic as a sauce on a nice steak. I've used it as the sauce for a batch of stuffed italian frying peppers, and it was terrific. It would be fantastic on a cheese omelete. Pretty much the sky is the limit -this stuff has such a nice, fresh, clean flavor, it goes well with all sorts of things.