Fresh Dips for Spring: Charred Tomato Salsa Recipe

| 3/13/2009 11:57:01 AM


I love charred tomato salsa because you can dip more than just chips in this flavorful summer dip. I discovered this salsa working as a “chip girl,” at a restaurant in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The name of the restaurant is The Ore House on the Plaza, and my job was to give out free chips and salsa to tourists who walked by. Most days, I ended up eating all the samples because the salsa tasted great with corn chips. This is when my obsession began.

The smoky, sweet flavor of the salsa went so well with chips that I started smothering my quesadillas and burritos with it. I would add it to my tacos, mix it in my salads and drizzle it on top of my fish and chicken. I haven't had Charred Tomato Salsa in a while but I came across a recipe for it from Food & Wine. Here is Steven Raichlen's recipe for anyone who wants to try this flavorful treat.

Salsa by joshbousel.
Photo by joshbousel/Courtesy Flickr

Charred Tomato Salsa

• 1 cup mesquite wood chips
• 3 dried red chiles, such as de árbol or cayenne
• Boiling water
• Vegetable oil, for the grill
• 1 large ripe tomato
• 1 garlic clove
• 1/2 small onion, halved  
• 1/2 canned chipotle chile in adobo–seeded, with 2 teaspoons of sauce from the can
• 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
• 1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
• Salt and freshly ground pepper 

1. Soak the wood chips in water for 1 hour and drain. Meanwhile, in a small, heatproof bowl, cover the dried red chiles with boiling water and let stand until softened, about 30 minutes. Drain well. Discard the stems and seeds and finely chop the chiles.

2. Light a grill. If using charcoal, scatter the wood chips over the coals. If using a gas grill, place the chips in the smoker box or on a 12-inch square of foil; fold the foil into a 6-inch square and poke 12 holes in the top. Place the package near the flames and heat until smoking.

3. Lightly brush the grate with oil. Place the tomato, stem side down, in the center of the grill. Cover and cook, turning occasionally, until softened and charred all over, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, thread the garlic clove and onion onto a skewer. Place the skewer at the edge of the fire, where it is cooler. Cover and cook, turning, until lightly browned and just softened, about 8 minutes.

4. Core and peel the tomato. In a blender, combine the tomato with the reconstituted chiles, grilled garlic and onion, chipotle and adobo sauce, cilantro and lime juice; puree until smooth. Scrape the salsa into a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

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