This Roasted Tomato Poblano Salsa is reminiscent of the delicious Carlos & Pepe’s salsa recipe — a Mexican restaurant my friends and I used to frequent back in the day. Its smoky flavor and fresh ingredients make it superb for chips, tacos, burritos, or to top meats, chicken and fish.*Update on May 15, 2016 — I’ve just learned that a Carlos & Pepe’s exists. It’s in Fort Lauderdale, which doesn’t really help me in California — buy if you’re near it, I highly suggest the salsa! 🙂 *
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.
Today we’re carrying on with this scrumptious roasted poblano salsa which I’ve tried to make as close to the Carlos & Pepe’s salsa recipe as possible.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, my friends and I used to frequent a Santa Monica restaurant called Carlos & Pepe’s. One reason we loved it was because of the delicious chips and salsa (I guess that’s two reasons).
The Carlos & Pepe’s salsa recipe 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 the Carlos & Pepe’s salsa recipe.
The answer: almost all of the ingredients were roasted. Ahh, brilliant! So that’s exactly what I did with the ingredients in my Tomato Poblano Salsa.Our Santa Monica Carlos & Pepe’s has been gone for at least fifteen years, I think. And would you believe this recipe is my first go at my own roasted salsa!?
This Roasted Tomato Poblano Salsa is first up for the Mexican Food Fest this weekend! And although it’s not the original Carlos & Pepe’s salsa recipe, it’s pretty close and super delicious!
Enjoy every last bite!
The smoky flavor and fresh ingredients make this roasted salsa superb for chips, tacos, burritos, or to top meats, chicken and fish.
*Makes about 3 cups
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds tomatoes
- 5 small cloves garlic, peeled and root ends trimmed
- 1 medium-large poblano chili pepper
- 2 1/2 small jalapeño pepper
- 3/4 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, washed and dried, finely chopped
- 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. Cut an "X" on the round side of each half -- just enough of a slit to break the skin. Place the tomatoes flat side down on the baking sheet. Add the garlic cloves to an empty space on the baking sheet. Roast the tomatoes and garlic in the preheated 500 degree F oven until the tomatoes are sizzling and beginning to brown, and the skin is beginning to pull away from the "X," about 15 minutes. (Check the garlic about half way through as they might brown sooner. Take them off whenever they're ready.)
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the tomatoes cool for at least 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler.
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 mince the garlic. Add both 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 chop 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).