I love salsa, but unfortunately we are limited to just a few varieties in jars and the common fresh salsa at most Mexican restaurants. Most commonly a salsa is used as a dip with tortilla chips or as a topping on tacos or burritos. However, a good salsa should be paired with the food, a light salsa for bold meat based dishes and heavier, complex salsas for lighter vegetarian or fish based dishes, allowing the chef to compliment the flavors of the dish.
There is a world of salsas out there, from the fresh tomato and fruit salsas, to complex salsas that use a variety of Mexican chilies and flavors. These salsas go beyond adding a freshness to the tacos or as a dip, but add complex flavors and take the dish to the next level.
This salsa is complex version, the charred vegetables and the smoky chipotle chili add a wonderful smoky flavor and the slow charred tomatoes are concentrated but bright and complex. This is a salsa that I cannot stop dipping into or pouring over other dishes.
This is a small specialized volume on salsas and has recipes for the most basic taquiera salsa to fresh fruit salsas, and complex salsas like this one. This is my go the cookbook for salsas and I recommend that you get it for its amazing variety of salsas.
For more recipes from this cookbook, click here.
1 chipotle chili, soaked overnight in water
2-3 large tomatoes, halved
2-3 green chiles, jalapeño or other
1 large onion, quartered
2-3 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon oregano, preferably Mexican
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin seeds
1/4-1/2 cup water
Salt, to taste
Layer the tomatoes cut side up, green chilies, and onions on a lined baking sheet and broil in the oven til well charred. The garlic and chilies will be done in 3-4 minutes, the onions in about 8-10 minutes and the tomatoes a few minutes later. Remove them and cool as they get done. You want the vegetables to be well charred for their smoked flavor.
While the vegetables are cooling, remove the stem and seeds of the chipotle saving the soaking liquids and the flesh. Strain the soaking liquid to get rid of any seeds.
Mix all the roasted vegetables, the chipotle flesh and soaking liquid and all the other ingredients and purée till quite smooth. Taste and adjust salt.