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From the Kitchens of Pancho Villa has been awarded the honor of "WINNER" in the "Cookbooks: International" category of the 2014 International Book Awards!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Roasted Tomato Salsa

You are going to love making roasted salsa, it is the easiest of all the salsas to make. For equipment you will need a heavy dry pan, such as a cast iron pan, or grill pan and a blender. If you do not own a blender, use a food processor with the metal blade. Although your salsa will not be totally pureed, you will get a lovely salsa with small chunks in it.

Ingredients you need: fresh tomatoes – juicy ones, white onion, chiles – jalapeños or serranos, garlic, salt. Quantities of each depend on how much salsa you want, but again, start with 6 tomatoes, 1/8 of a whole medium onion, at least 1 chile (more if you like) and 2 cloves garlic. This is a roasted (cooked) salsa so you can add as much or little salt as you like after your salsa is all blended.

Heat the dry pan or grill pan to very hot, do NOT use oil. Put in the washed whole tomatoes, chiles and whole garlic cloves. You will begin turning them as you see dark char marks appear. Keep turning until all the sides have char marks. They will not be totally black, only have dark marks on them. Remove the tomatoes and garlic to the blender. No need to chop them.

Cut the onion in 2 or 3 smaller pieces and put them in the blender with the tomatoes.

Remove the stems from the roasted chiles. If you like, remove and discard the seeds and white membrane. Pop the chiles into the blender. Blitz on high until smooth or you can use on/off pulses to keep some small chunks. Add a little salt if you like and blitz again to mix. Pour this into a bowl and drizzle it over tacos, steaks, chops, baked potatoes, hamburgers or use it as a dipping sauce for chips.

If you are having a taco party, make a big batch of this salsa and pour half of the original blend into a bowl and add more chiles to the remainder and blitz again. You will have 2 separate salsas for your guests, one mild, one hotter.

No need to refrigerate unless you won't be eating for several hours.

Do ahead: Since you are already heating up the pan and roasting veggies, do several batches and pop them into food bags and freeze them whole. Keep them in separate bags so the flavors don't overpower each other. This will save time later when you may not have the time to roast the tomatoes and chiles but want some salsa.

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