Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Best Salsa Recipe around!!

I know that is a big statement.  There are so many types of salsa.  Fresh salsa, cooked salsa, fruity salsa.... where does it end.  It's like a little Mexican bubba gump.  I am a huge fan of any type of salsa.  This one here I started making a few years ago and have perfected.  It is a very rustic type of Salsa Rojas, a cooked Aztec style salsa.  There maybe some ingredients that you don't thing should be in salsa, but suspend disbelief this stuff is really good.  Big part of this is getting the ingredients as fresh as possible.  I went to the Winchester Farmers market, here in Memphis.
This place is great.  They have produce, and items from all over the world.  Specializing in Mexican, and Asians.  There fish is so damn fresh it is swimming.  I recommend going to this place on Tuesdays and Thursdays that is when they get their fresh fish and produce.  Sundays are freaking nuts at this place.  Onto the salsa.  First thing I do is get all my ingredients together.

  • 5 Medium Roma tomatoes, halved, Cored and seeded
  • 10 Dried Chili's D'Arbol stemmed, halved, and seeded
  • 2tsp Dried ground Pasilla pepper powder
  • 1 each Dried passilla pepper, cored, seeded, and chunk ed
  • 1Tbs Kosher salt
  • 1tsp Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Cup water
  • 3T Pepitas, unsalted, uncooked pumpkin seeds
  • 3T white distilled vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup Scallions chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Cilantro chopped
  1. Get your broiler rocking!!  Cover a sheet tray with aluminium foil, and place the tomatoes skin side up on the sheet tray.  Make sure you crack the oven door a little so we don't get super crispy and smoke tomato parts.  Broil your tomatoes until the skins are charred.  This is where you pick up a ton of flavor.  Remove from the oven, and turn the temp down to 350F .
  2. Place Tomatoes, Chile's de arbol, pasilla peppers, salt, sugar, water into a medium size stock pot, stir to combine.  Bring ingredients to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer.  Stirring often simmer until slightly reduced and the tomatoes are soft, around thirty minutes.
  3. While the tomatoes are cooking, toast the Pepitas on a sheet tray until browned, around ten minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
  4. Add the white distilled vinegar to the tomato mixture and let cook for three minutes.  Remove mixture from the heat and let cool slightly for about ten minutes.  If you would try and blitz this right not the steam would blow the lid off your blender.  Trust me!!!  Pulse the mixture a couple times then add the roasted pepitas.  Blend until smooth.  You should still see a litte texture on the Pepitas.
  5. Pour your mixture into a bowl and incorporate the cilantro and the scallions.  Mix completely and put into jars.  Let this chill for at least four hours before serving for the flavors to incorporate.  Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.

This is how far I broil my tomatoes.  Don't worry they are not burnt.  Those chard pieces of skin are awesome in the salsa.  You want to be able to see the little fancy pieces of burnt tomato skin, and pepitas in your salsa. 

This is a great salsa.  Make a day ahead to really get the true taste.  I have put some roasted garlic in and it was great.  This version is what I would call medium.  Can be much hotter if you leave the seeds in the dried peppers before cooking.  Stay Classy San Diego.

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