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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Homemade Roasted Tomato Salsa and Salsa Verde

We are participating in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) with Country Roots Farm. We signed up for the "half share" which means we get a bushel of fresh vegetables and fruits and herbs every two weeks throughout the summer season. I love it! Each delivery is very exciting to unpack the bushel basket and see what we got.

The recent delivery included a bag of tomatillos. We love green salsa and I've seen them in the stores but I've never bought them or used them for cooking. We love Mexican food so it has been on my list of things to try, for sure. The CSA forces us to try new things, which is a good thing when you have two little kids at home and aren't feeling too adventurous in the kitchen.

So, I'm very excited to share the two recipes I made
- the Salsa Verde recipe I chose was from Rick Bayless. I love him, he is a renowned chef of traditional/modern Mexican cuisine and has several restaurants in Chicago. I'd love to go to one but so far I've only seen him on TV on Top Chef: Masters, a competitive charity show.

The red salsa recipe I just kind of made up since we make fresh salsa each year and cooked salsa once or twice.

The Rick Bayless recipe said you could either roast the tomatillos and peppers or make it raw. I chose to broil everything, including the tomatoes and bell peppers I was going to use for the red salsa. This went pretty easily and then I had my cuisinart at the ready for blending them into sauces.  I made simple chicken quesadillas, a typical weeknight dinner, and included some of the roasted bell peppers inside of those as well. When paired with these fresh sauces, this really made the basic quesadillas delicious. I would definitely consider serving mexican food for a dinner party and absolutely make these sauces again to make it special. It's a totally different flavor compared to the jarred salsas we buy from the store. Yummy!

Salsa Verde
By Rick Bayless as seen here

8 ounces (5 to 6 medium) tomatillos, husked and rinsedFresh hot green chiles, to taste (roughly 2 serranos or 1 jalapeno), stemmed5 or 6 sprigs fresh cilantro (thick stems removed), roughly choppedScant 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic clovesSalt

Note: I did not add the water, as noted in some of the reviews of this recipe, and I added 2 garlic cloves.

Roast the tomatillos and chiles on a baking sheet 4 inches below a very hot broiler until darkly roasted, even blackened in spots, about 5 minutes. Flip them over and roast the other side, 4 to 5 minutes more will give you splotchy-black and blistered tomatillos and chiles. In a blender or food processor, combine the tomatillos and chiles, including all the delicious juice that has run onto the baking sheet. Add the cilantro and 1/4 cup water, blend to a coarse puree, and scrape into a serving dish. Rinse the onion under cold water, then shake to remove the excess moisture. Stir into the salsa and season with salt, usually a generous 1/4 teaspoon.

Roasted Tomato Salsa

4 or 5 fresh tomatoes or any tomato you have on hand
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup cilantro
1 lime
1-2 hot peppers (or use mild if you do not want spicy salsa)
1-2 cloves of garlic

DirectionsRoast the tomatoes and peppers under the broiler until the skin is black and blistering, flip and do the same thing again. Scrape tomatoes and juices into a food processor, add onion, cilantro, lime juice and peppers (leave out seeds if you'd like to reduce the heat), and cloves of garlic. Process gently until the consistency is to your liking, perhaps slightly chunky. Taste to adjust for seasoning - salt, more garlic, more lime juice, etc. 

1 comment:

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