The celebration of my husband’s birthday continues! (I think he appreciates all the culinary carrying on, but of course, secretly, it’s for me, too!)
If you’ve been keeping up with me here, you know my husband’s favorite cuisine is Mexican, and his favorite meal is nachos. So this weekend, we’re having a little gathering of his friends for a Mexican “food fest” of sorts. Oh, and his favorite cocktail will accompany the meal: a classic, delicious Bloody Mary!
Many moons ago, I went to a restaurant all the time named Carlos ‘N’ Pepe’s. One reason my friends and I loved it was the delicious chips and salsa (I guess that’s two reasons). The salsa was fresh, spicy, smoky, slightly sweet, and a bit crunchy. The chips were light, warm, and perfectly salted. The combination was incredible. My friend Aimée found out the “secret” to their chips and salsa. The answer: almost all of the salsa ingredients were roasted. Ahh, brilliant!
This Roasted Tomato Poblano Salsa is first up for the Mexican Food Fest this weekend!
Makes 3 cups
Total Prep and Cooking Time: 30 minutes
1 medium-large poblano chili pepper (about-ounces)
1 medium jalapeño pepper (about 2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped)
3/4 cup finely diced brown onion
1/3 cup finely chopped, fresh cilantro
Juice of 1-1/2 limes
Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and sugar to taste
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F and lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper and set aside.
Use a paring knife to remove the cores from the tomatoes and cut them in half. Then cut an “X” on the round side of each half. Only cut enough to slit the skin. Place the tomatoes flat side down on the baking sheet. Roast the tomatoes in the preheated oven until they are sizzling and beginning to brown, and the skin is beginning to pull away from the “X,” about 15 minutes.
Remove the tomatoes from the oven and let them cool for at least 5 minutes. Turn the broiler on.
Once the tomatoes are cool enough to touch, you can easily use your hands or the dull side of a paring knife to slip the skin off each half. Now you can finely chop the tomatoes and add them to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Use a spatula to scrape any brown bits of tomato and any remaining olive oil from the baking sheet and add it to the bowl. Place the skins in a small strainer and use the back of a small spoon to drain them into the bowl as well.
To roast the poblano and jalapeño peppers: Cut them in half, remove all of the seeds, and place them round side up on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place them directly under the broiler until the skin is fairly evenly charred, about 3 minutes. Remove from the broiler and then wrap them in the foil you broiled them on, leaving at least a few inches of air inside. Let them steam this way for about 5 minutes. Use your hands or the dull side of a paring knife to remove the skin. Finely chopped the peeled peppers and set aside.
Add the roasted, chopped peppers to the tomatoes, along with the onion, cilantro and lime juice. Season generously to taste with salt and pepper. If necessary, add a sprinkle of sugar (this will depend on the sweetness of the tomatoes).