Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Grilled Salsa

One day while I was in high school and watching Martha Stewart on TV with a friend, she opened her show with the following sentence: "The number one condiment in America isn't ketchup or mustard. It's salsa. Fresh, delicious, beautiful salsa." Her zealous use of adjectives made me laugh and anything that I liked for years was "fresh, delicious and beautiful." Martha and I may not agree on many things, like the distribution of wealth or eating animals and their secretions, but boy do we agree about salsa!

I could eat salsa three meals a day. Every batch of salsa is unique, a slightly different combination of ingredients, and even when the ingredients are the same, the produce never is. Ashley made sweet summer salsa with fresh fruit, we have made tomato-less salsa with cucumber and corn, minty salsa, extra spicy cooked chile salsas, the freshest and mildest pico de gallo. I love it all!
Chiles and garlic on the grill
Now that we have a handy cast-iron grill pan (Thanks Mom!) we can grill indoors. This salsa uses a mix of grilled tomatoes, tomatillos, chiles, onions and garlic. I blend it in the food processor with cilantro, lime and a half a mango for a touch of sweetness.  If you have the outdoor grill going, that will be even smokier and more delicious. If you have neither grill pan nor grill, just use a hot skillet to lightly blacken the vegetable skins. Or you can broil them, watching carefully to make sure they do not burn up.
If you're experiencing a fresh, delicious, beautiful summer day like I am, what could be better than a bowl of grilled salsa?

Grilled Salsa
Play around with the seasonings. Leave the seeds in the chiles if you like it hot, remove them for a milder salsa.
Tomatoes, tomatillos and onions on the grill
2 large mild green chiles (I used chilaca, or pasilla chiles... great substitutes would be Anaheim, New Mexico Green Chiles or Poblano)
1/2 yellow bell pepper (or any color you want)
2 small hot chiles, red or green (I used orangey red serranos)
1 dried chipotle chile
4 cloves garlic (or more to taste)
1 small red onion (I used half of a monster onion)
4 tomatillos
2 large tomatoes (or 4 regular-sized tomatoes)
1/2 mango, chopped coarsely (optional)
juice of 1 lime or lemon
vinegar, to taste
salt, to taste
fresh cilantro, to taste (I used half a bunch, leaves only)
mexican oregano, 1 teaspoon

Heat grill pan to medium-high heat. Place all ingredients above the line whole onto the grill pan (It will take two batches). Grill until lightly blackened on both sides. The garlic cloves and hot chiles will cook more quickly. Remove them earlier so as not to burn them to a crisp. Once chipotle is turning reddish and seems to be breathing slightly (filling with steam), soak it in warm water until soft, about 5 minutes. Allow grilled ingredients to cool so they are not hot to the touch. Warm is okay.
Remove stems and seeds if desired. Chop everything coarsely to about the same size. Place all ingredients into food processor, pulsing to chop to desired texture. Taste and adjust salt and vinegar. For best results, allow to sit in the fridge at least twenty minutes.
Fresh, delicious, beautiful!

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1 comment:

  1. This looks incredible! Fresh salsa is the best. Roasting the veggies first is such a great idea. Thanks for the recipe Chef Knies.