Thursday, June 26, 2014


Burnt (roasted) salsa. Or salsa quemada (kay-maada), in Spanish.

If you know me, you know my vast love for Mexican food. It's endless and untiring. Combined with my equally endless and untiring love for spicy sauces and condiments it means you're sure to find a slew of dips, sauces, salsas, and pestos in my fridge at any time! I love making salsas because they're so flavourful and versatile - they go with everything. I usually have a couple of different types in the fridge - they're great when I want to put together a quick rice and bean bowl with roasted vegetables for lunch or a couple of tacos for dinner when I'm famished. 

This salsa, like most salsas, is very easy to make and tastes better the longer it sits. It's great with chips, tacos, on a bowl of beans and rice, roasted vegetables, eggs, steak, chicken, with hot fresh corn tortillas, empanadas, pretty much anything... so dig in!

Spicy Roasted Tomato and Chile Salsa: Salsa Quemada
makes: ~ 2 cups

- 8 chiles de arbol
- 2 chiles guajillos
- 4 - 5 ripe Roma tomatoes
- 1/2 white onion
- 3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 1/4 bunch cilantro
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- salt, to taste
- 3/4 cup hot water
  1. Toast the chiles briefly in a a cast-iron or other skillet over medium-low heat until they're aromatic and slightly change colour. This should only take a minute or less... try not to blacken them — burnt chiles add an unpleasant bitterness to the salsa. Transfer the toasted chiles into a bowl and cover them with hot water. Let them sit while you roast the rest of the vegetables.
  2. Turn the heat to medium and put the tomatoes, garlic, and onion (cut side down) into the skillet. Turn the vegetables every few minutes to roast them evenly.
  3. Remove the garlic when it has a few brown spots. Remove the onion when it's nicely charred on the cut side, and slightly softened. Let the tomatoes roast until they're soft and blackened in spots. The skin will start to peel and the tomatoes may crack slightly and release some juices. It's ok.
  4. Turn off the heat and let the tomatoes cool. Remove any loose or blackened skin - it should come off easily. Peel the garlic, cut the onion into 2 - 3 chunks. Drain the water from the chiles.
  5. Add the chiles, tomatoes, garlic, onion, cilantro, salt, and lime juice to a blender and pulse until smooth. Adjust salt to taste before serving.
  6. Serve at room temperature or store in the fridge for a week. If it lasts that long!

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