Skip to content

Roasted Tomato Salsa w/3 Chiles

November 22, 2015

DSC_6401

What kind of salsas do you more often make at home?  There are many types to choose from for different uses aren’t there?  Within each type there are many variations to try out or create.  Much depends on what is available to you in your stores and markets though I guess just about anything is available online these days. A wider variety have become more readily available in recent years in my area. Do you make salsa as dips for tostadas or are they used for topping your main or side dishes? The kind I seem to be making the most of lately are the roasted tomato or tomatillo variety.  It’s for the simple fact that I have all these dried chiles that need to be used up.  Chipotle,  guajillo,  arbol,  Anchos,  New Mexican  are very often the key chile ingredient.  They seem to make for the more classic roasted tomato/tomatillo salsas.  Because of their particular flavor and/or heat level they can stand alone to suit individual tastes as the sole chile in the recipe.  Some dried chiles are not as popular as a stand alone chile in salsas.  Which brings me to the mulato chile.  It is used indispensibly in many mole recipes for its deep dark color and sweet, almost chocolaty  flavor.   How does it hold up in a salsa?  I started by pureeing roasted tomatoes, onion, and garlic, then began adding the toasted mulato chiles.  Although it gave an interesting flavor, it was too muted and needed some balancing out.  I added arbol chiles for a brightness, a bit of nuttiness,  and heat.  Something was still missing so I reached for pasillas, which have  fruity notes to them.  My next choice would have been guajillos for their lighter flavor but I was completely out of them. The result in any case,  was a much more balanced flavor with each chile adding its own qualities.  It still needed some brightening up so I added apple cider vinegar.  A mere teaspoon really enhanced the flavor.   This turned out to be a very tasty salsa with a unique flavor profile.   I dipped fried tortilla chips, topped some lentils,  tried it on some tacos, and also dabbed it on quesadillas.  It was hard to ignore this one.

There are many possibilities to play with in making this type of salsa.  We also have the choice of using tomato or tomatillo, or both.   Do I want to roast the garlic or leave it raw?  Do I roast or saute the onions?  Does it need the acidity of lime juice or vinegar.  How about adding oregano, cilantro, or thyme.  Some combinations don’t work, but many will.  Why always settle for the tried and true when you can come up with something uniquely yours.

DSC_6359

Left to right are pasilla,  arbol,  and mulato peppers.

 

This recipe makes about 1 quart

12 Roma tomatoes

1/2 medium onion

5 unpeeled garlic cloves

2 mulato chiles

7 arbol chiles

2 pasilla chiles

1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

Water as needed to adjust consistency

salt to taste

 

First I broiled the tomatoes until they began to char a bit. I turned them over to slightly char the skin on both sides.  I was carefull not to broil them to a mushy state. As they were going I put my comal (iron skillet) on low-medium heat. The onion was sliced and pan roasted on a heavy skillet until softened and slightly blackened.  The garlic was also added to the pan and cooked until softened.  In another heavy pan, the chiles were toasted.  Set the pan to medium-high heat.  Remove the seeds from the chiles and one by one press them on both sides on the hot skillet with a metal spatula for a few seconds.  You may notice a slight change in color.  It will release a nice aroma. Do not burn or it will turn bitter.  Immediately remove the chile and continue with the rest.  I left many of the chile de arbol seeds in the chile to give more spiciness to the salsa.

 

DSC_6443

DSC_6367

DSC_6480

 

When the tomatoes, onions and garlic had cooled down, I peeled the garlic and put everything in the blender to puree.  I then added 2 mulato chiles to the blender and after tasting the result, decided that was good on that kind of chile.  Next in were the arbol peppers.  That would give enough heat and a subtle nuttiness.  The pasillas were then added to give more balance.  I tasted it after one, then added another.  The apple cider vinegar did its trick next.  I added a bit of water to adjust the consistency.  Roma tomatoes have less juice in them than most other kinds of tomatoes.  I finally seasoned with salt to taste.

 

DSC_6467

The salsa paired well with refried lentil quesadillas (vegan).  The tortilla is home made with corn masa.

 

DSC_6418

This is one I’ll make again.  I’d also like to try substituting guajillos for the pasillas or mulatos.

Advertisements
12 Comments leave one →
  1. November 22, 2015 7:40 pm

    Beautiful pictures, all those charred tomatoes made my mouth water! Thank you for your reassuring words as to all those different dried chillies, I really have to give that salsa a try!

    • November 23, 2015 11:04 pm

      It’s nice that the dried chiles all have different flavors. It’s also a good thing they have a long shelf life!

  2. November 23, 2015 1:06 am

    Ooohhhh that’s the kind of salsa that I love Gerard! Love it!

    • November 23, 2015 11:16 pm

      They are also low on the labor scale! You can be doing other things while most of it is roasting. I like that part too!

  3. November 23, 2015 3:20 am

    Great post!!! I’m partial to Ancho though.

  4. November 23, 2015 6:06 pm

    Great way to use up or experiment with various chillies 🙂 looks tasty!

  5. December 13, 2015 3:22 pm

    This looks amazing! Must have now! 🍓

  6. March 25, 2016 1:09 pm

    Yumm!! Can’t wait to try this!

    • March 26, 2016 7:53 pm

      Yes! This one lends to different interpretations depending on what you have available. Thanks again for visiting my blog!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: