Whenever the occasion calls for salsa, and I want to do something more than just open a jar of some boring salsa, I make my own. Its quick and easy, and quite a bit better than anything I have had from the store. Besides, I love corn chips, and sometimes you just need something more than plain chips! I take advantage of the fact that most of what goes into salsa has a fair amount of sugar by roasting most of the ingredients under my broiler.
You are going to need a food processor or blender.
- One large red onion
- Two tomatoes, or four roma tomatoes
- Two red bell peppers
- One jalapeno pepper
- 4 cloves of garlic
- One chipotle pepper
- 3 TBSP adobo sauce from the chipotle pepper
- Lime juice
- finely chopped cilantro to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- cumin and oregano to taste
Cut the ends off the onion, then cut it in half, peel it, and cut it into quarters. Cut the bell peppers into quarters, and discard the seeds and membranes. Cut the stem end off the jalapeno, cut it in half, and remove the seeds. Cut the tomatoes in quarters and remove the spot where the stem attached.
Preheat the broiler on your oven.
Place the onion, bell peppers, jalapeno, garlic and tomatoes on a sheet tray, or in a skillet. I use a large stainless steel frying pan. Spray everything lightly on all sides with cooking spray. Since the rack in my oven isn’t all that close to the boiler element(yep, I have an electric stove. Yes, gas would be much nicer, but since I rent…) I actually hold the skillet under the under the broiler. This gets a nice bit of charring on the peppers, and onion, and peels the skin of the tomatoes. Check it after a few minutes, and turn everything as it cooks so that you get everything evenly roasted. When you can smell everything you will know you are getting there. As far as how roasted, that is up to you.
Once you have everything roasted, transfer everything to your food processor. Mine is small so I have to work in batches. If you have a larger processor you could do it all at once. At this point everything but the lime juice and seasonings should get pureed. This is again where you can play with it, if you like a chunkier salsa puree less. Transfer to a bowl, add the lime juice, salt, pepper, chopped cilantro, cumin and oregano. Taste it as you go, you can always add more of something but it is really hard to take it out.
As far as the salt goes, here is the way to deal with it, and this will go for pretty much whatever you make. Add salt, and if you don’t notice a difference, add more. As you get to the point where you have the salt right, you will notice it more, and it will start bringing things out. If you think you have it, add just a small amount, then taste it again. You will end up just right, not overly salty.
Chill your salsa down, and serve to your very impressed friends!