I've become obsessed with making salsa. I love almost anything that has to do with the Latino world - the music, the food, the Spanish language, and especially the warmth and love that flows so openly in the culture. Since I classify myself (lovingly) as a vegetarian glutard, and I try to eat a super healthy diet to fuel my active Colorado life, I don't rely on cheese and sauce-smothered tortillas to enjoy the flavors of Latin food. Instead, I lean toward fresh vegetables and killer salsas. Sundays have become salsa day around here, and, while I'm still learning and experimenting, here are two that came out really well. One more disclaimer: I don't eat garlic or onions! So if you want to add those to these recipes, go for it! (Just don't expect me to kiss you.)
Ay Caramba! Salsa
4 large, ripe tomatoes
4-5 large red or orange peppers (or both)
3 anaheim chiles
3-4 habanero chiles
Juice of one lime
2T chopped, fresh cilantro
large pinch of sea salt
large pinch of raw sugar
1T olive oil (I use garlic or chile infused oil here)
1-2T apple cider vinegar
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place all peppers (washed and dried) on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. I prefer to leave them whole. Place in oven and roast, turning occasionally, until they blister and turn brown/black in places - maybe about 20-25 minutes. Remove them and place them in a large bowl, and cover with saran wrap or a moist kitchen towel until they are cool enough to handle. At the same time, you can roast the tomatoes. I cut them in half lengthwise, and place them face down on the baking sheet (also covered with parchment paper). The tomatoes stay in the oven until their skin starts to peel up, and they are starting to lose volume, about 15-20 minutes.
Once out of the oven, peel the tomatoes and peppers the best you can, and chop them coarsely. Use caution when handling the habaneros (the tiny orange ones!) - if you get the juice in your eye, you will want to die. For real. So wash your hands and the knife and cutting board well after finishing with the hot ones!
Place them all in the bowl of a food processor, and add the cilantro, salt, sugar, vinegar, olive oil, and lime juice. Pulse until you have the salsa consistency you like. Mine looked like this:
Serve with chips, and enjoy! Yield: approximately 4 cups.
Muy Fresca Tomatillo Salsa
This is a tomatillo salsa, and it's not super spicy - I was going for that fresh, corn + cilantro flavor. But, you could easily add more heat by keeping half of one of the jalapeno peppers raw and adding it at the end, or by using chili-infused oil instead of olive oil. (Note - the red tomatoes pictured below are the ones I used in the recipe above - they just shared a baking tray. Only the green tomatillos are used in the recipe that follows.)
9-10 tomatillos (more if they're small), peeled and rinsed well
1 cup fresh or frozen yellow corn
1 bunch fresh cilantro
Jumbo pinch of sea salt
1T rice wine vinegar
1T olive oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and place tomatillos and peppers on the sheet. Roast until the tomatillos start to "melt" and the peppers have blistered, blackened skin. While they are roasting, cut corn off the cob or place frozen corn in a strainer to drain, and chop cilantro. Remove tomatillos and peppers. Place peppers in a bowl under saran wrap or a moist towel to cool. Once cool, peel the skin away from the jalapenos and chop coarsely. Do the same for the tomatillos, trying to keep the watery flesh and seeds of the fruit, but discarding the skins and the hard cores. Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until you get it to the right consistency. Taste for salt and spice - add more salt or some fresh jalapeno if desired. Yield: approximately 2 cups. (This is super yummy on eggs in the morning for the non-vegan crowd.)
So, have fun making these amazing salsas, remember not to rub your eyes while working with peppers, and let us know how it goes! Please feel free to share any modifications or awesome salsa recipes of your own!
With love and chiles from us to you,