Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The World's Greatest Salsa

I don't know how traditional this salsa recipe is, but I love it for it's many different levels of flavor.  Salsa should be fresh, yet have deep undertones of warmth, not necessarily just heat, but something that makes you say "Hummm...."  I'm using chilis three different ways, fresh, roasted, and dried.  Also, I'm using roasted tomatoes and fresh tomatoes.  Trust me, this is worth the extra work

10 medium vine ripened tomatoes seeded
1 fresh jalapeno pepper minced
1 fresh poblano pepper
1 fresh chili habanero (optional) halved
1 dried ancho chili, soaked in hot water for 1 hour, seeds and stem removed minced
2 canned chipotle chilis + 1 tsp of reserved adobo sauce minced
1 small red or Vidalia onion
2 cloves crushed garlic
juice and zest of one lime
1 Tbsp tequilla
1/4 cup corn removed from cob (optional)
1/8 cup loose cilantro leaves roughly chopped
black pepper

In a cast iron skillet, add 5 of the tomatoes, and the poblano pepper.  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and roast at 400 degrees for 30 - 40 minutes or until tomatoes have reached a caramel color.  Remove from oven and let cool in a bowl for 15 minutes.  Chop the remaining tomatoes up roughly.  Chop the roasted tomatoes.  Remove seeds and skin from the poblano pepper.  Chop into the bowl.  mince the onion and the garlic, add to the bowl.  Add the Jalapeno, ancho, chipotle, and the halved habanero (you might want to wear a rubber glove when handling these peppers, and for God's sake don't rub your eyes) Add the corn, cilantro, pinch of salt, and cracked pepper to taste.  Toss in the lime juice and zest and finish with the tequilla.  Let the salsa sit AT ROOM TEMPERATURE to allow the flavors to co-mingle.  After about an hour, remove the halved Habanero unless you want to play hide the Habanero with your friends and watch them squeal when they get it.  Serve with tortilla chips or as a condiment for fresh fish.

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