Monday, January 26, 2009
This salsa takes almost no time to make, other than roasting and removing the seeds from the peppers.
1 28 oz can of good quality plain crushed tomatoes in puree (see note below)
1/8-1/4 of a small sweet onion (if using 1/4 onion, cut it in half)
1-2 small dried red chiles
1 small clove of garlic
1 handful fresh cilantro
1 fresh, oven roasted, peeled red bell pepper
3 small, de-seeded, fresh peppers (I use a combination of jalapeno, yellow chile peppers, and red fresno peppers)
pinch of fresh or dried oregano
small sprinkle of ground cumin
1. Roast a fresh red bell pepper in the oven at 400 degrees until the skin blisters. Turn once or twice to roast it evenly. This shouldn't take more than 15-20 minutes.
2. Using a food processor with an S blade, chop the garlic, dried peppers, and add oregano and cumin to taste. Turn off food processor.
3. Remove the seeds from the small hot peppers. Cut the de-seeded fresh hot peppers into thirds or quarters. (This helps them chop evenly in the food processor.) Place in food processor bowl.
4. Peel roasted red bell pepper, remove seeds, and chop into 8 pieces and place in food processor bowl.
5. Add onion to food processor bowl.
6. Turn the food processor on and pulsate until all the peppers and onions are coarsely chopped. (Don't leave it on too long or it will turn to mush)
7. Add cilantro to food processor and pulsate quickly until it is chopped.
8. Push down all ingredients off the sides into the bottom of the food processor, then add the can of tomatoes.
9. Turn food processor on for a few seconds until salsa is well-blended.
Note on the tomatoes: Not all brands of canned tomatoes are equal. Some of the cheaper ones are almost all puree, which won't make good salsa. You need to find the ones that have more chunks of tomatoes than puree. The brands I've had most success with are Hunt's Crushed Tomatoes, and Sunflower Market brand crushed tomatoes (NOT the kind with basil added- read the label). Some of the more expensive brands are also full of puree, like Progresso and Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Crushed Tomatoes. Be sure to buy the ones without added herbs and seasonings or your salsa will taste more like spaghetti sauce than salsa.
Note on the red bell peppers: DON'T use jars of roasted red bell peppers, or worse, roasted marinated peppers. Barf me out of town! Use fresh peppers, it makes a huge difference.