Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Salsa Esmeralda, Salsa Mesa, Salsa Ahumada

Salsa Esmerelda, left, is made of tomatillos and avocados. Salsa Mesa, back, contains tomato paste, toasted chiles de arbol and serranos. Salsa Ahumada is made of fire-roasted tomatoes, griddled onions and garlic and chipotle peppers. BY DAVE CATHEY,

Half a small to medium white onion
3 to 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 to 4 chipotles in adobo

• Heat a cast-iron skillet or griddle to medium high.

• Place tomatoes and chipotles in food processor and pulse 3 or 4 times to break up chipotles.

• Place onion half on griddle, flat side down, along with garlic cloves. Cover with the lid from another pot or pan. Roast 2 to 3 minutes until onion and garlic begin to blacken.

• Using tongs, flip to unblackened sides and repeat.

• Once the garlic and onion have attained some color on all sides and is fragrant, remove from heat.

• Peel garlic cloves and add to food processor. Pulse mixture 5 to 6 times to blend garlic thoroughly.

• Roughly slice the onion and add to food processor. Pulse 2 to 3 times for chunky consistency.

• Source : Dave Cathey.
Salsa Esmerelda
This combination of tomatillos and avocados is a taqueria staple. All green ingredients give this creamy sauce its vibrant appearance.
2 pounds tomatillos
2 ripe avocados
3 to 8 serrano or jalapeno chiles
3 to 5 garlic cloves
¼ cup cilantro leaves
Juice of 1 lime
Salt to taste

• In a large pot, boil tomatillos 10 minutes and allow to cool. Cut out stems and combine with remaining ingredients. Sample and salt to taste.

• Source : Dave Cathey.
Salsa Mesa
Looking for something you can pour or squeeze from a bottle like ketchup? Mixing water, vinegar and tomato paste will create a tangy table condiment. How long the afterburn on your palate is up to you.
2 to 3 fresh serrano peppers or 1-2 fresh jalapeno peppers
1¼ cup water
1 small can tomato paste
5 to 6 chiles de arbol
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Salt to taste

• Heat a skillet to very high. Don’t use Teflon. Roll chiles de arbol back and forth on board to loosen seeds. Slit chiles and shake free as many seeds as you can.

• Toast chiles on the hot skillet no more than five seconds on each side. Drop toasted chiles into water and let steep at least 15 minutes.

• Cut peppers into three pieces and place in a food processor with remaining ingredients. Pulse until salsa is smooth. Sample and salt to taste.

• Source : Dave Cathey.

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