Monday, August 3, 2009

Fresh Tomato Salsa

Fresh Tomato Salsa

Summer is a time where we get invited to a lot of parties and barbecues. A food you are sure to find is the ubiquitous salsa, you know the kind, it comes in a jar from your local supermarket. Homemade tomato salsa is easy to make and once you try it you will never go back. Refreshing salsas are easy to improvise—simply balance the proportions of ingredients according to taste. Top burritos, tacos, enchiladas, nachos, chili, or bean soups; add to omelets and scrambled eggs; use in place of ketchup on hamburgers and sandwiches; spoon onto grilled pork, beef, poultry, and fish; dip chips; dollop onto fritters and savory pancakes.
Yields 2 cups
· 4 medium ripe tomatoes (about 1 lb.), cored, seeded, and finely diced
· 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
· 2 jalapeño or Serrano chiles, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
· 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
· 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
· 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
· 1 clove garlic, smashed and minced
· 3/4 tsp. salt, or to taste
· Pinch freshly ground pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Toss well and serve.
Roasted tomatillo and green chile: Arrange 1 lb. tomatillos *(husks removed), 1 fresh poblano**, 2 jalapeños, and 4 scallions on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Broil until softened and dark in spots, about 12 min., turning once during cooking. When cool, remove the skin, stems, and seeds from the chiles. Dice all the vegetables and combine with 1/2 minced small onion, 1 minced clove garlic, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste.
Tropical fruit: Dice and combine 1 large mango, 1 large papaya, and 2 small kiwis. Add 1 cup diced pineapple, 1/3 cup diced red bell pepper, 1/4 cup diced red onion, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves, 1 to 2 cored, seeded, and minced jalapeños, 1 Tbs. lime juice, and a pinch each of salt and cayenne.
Grilled corn, tomato, and chipotle***: Rub 2 ears of husked corn with olive oil and grill over medium-hot coals until slightly blackened, about 10 min. Grill 5 plum tomatoes until the skins are blistered and charred, about 8 min. Scrape the kernels from the cobs and dice the tomatoes. Combine the corn and tomatoes with 14 cup very finely diced red onion, 1 finely chopped canned chipotle chile, 2 Tbs. lime juice, 1 Tbs. extra- virgin olive oil, 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh oregano (or 2 tsp. dried), and salt to taste.
* The tomatillo (Physalis philadelphica) is a plant of the Solanaceae (nightshade) family, related to tomatoes, bearing small, spherical and green or green-purple fruit of the same name. Tomatillos, referred to as green tomato (Spanish: tomate verde) in Mexico, are a staple in Mexican cuisine. Tomatillos are grown throughout the Western Hemisphere.[
** The poblano is a very mild chile pepper originating in the State of Puebla, Mexico. Dried, it is called ancho chile.
*** A chipotle (pronounced /tʃɨˈpoʊtleɪ/ chi-POET-lee; Spanish: [tʃiˈpotle]) is a smoke-dried jalapeño chili used primarily in Mexican, Mexican-American, Tex-Mex, and Mexican-inspired cuisine.

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