Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Adventures in Salsa making
So... my birthday approaches, and I'm very excited to carry on the tradition I started a couple years ago, which is to cook an amazing feast for a whole bunch of friends, one of whom shares the same birthday. That would be Janet - awesome friend, entrepreneur, apron-maker, and woman of many talents.
Last year's feast was tamales, mole, enchiladas, guacamole and blood orange margaritas. I've learned so much about cooking Mexican food since then; I can hardly wait to outfit myself with a fancy apron and start cooking for this year's meal!
The mole will be so much better! All the salsas will be made from scratch! There is a rumour about homemade corn tortillas! And there will be Sangria... oh yes, there will be Sangria. Janet gets her own personal gallon and perhaps if she's in the mood, she'll share it with the rest of us.
I've been pretty much obsessed with Mexican food in recent weeks (and that will be true in the coming weeks as well, I'm sure!), and last night w/ my friends Miss NoNo and BathTub, a fine meal was enjoyed. It featured a fire-roasted chipotle salsa that was passed along by our pal Camille, who as you may recall, has recently relocated to Texas. There she met a man named Mete who was kind enough to share his salsa recipe which I have adapted ever so slightly below. It's a good thing Camille gave me this salsa recipe, otherwise I'd still be mad at her for leaving us!
We also enjoyed a black bean and quinoa pilaf, buckets of Sangria, and a spinach salad with blood oranges, radishes, cilantro, pumpkin seeds, pickled red onions and lime.
And the salsa goes like this:
Under a flame, or just plain in a cast iron skillet on your stove top, roast 2 - 4 jalapenos, 3 - 6 serranos, and a whole head of garlic till it's all blackened and blistered. Mete said to peel the garlic first, but I roasted it with the skin on, and peeled it after.
Mete did not say to remove the seeds from the peppers, but damnit, I'm not a Texan, and so I did. I knew it was already going to be plenty spicy due to the next step...
Throw the peppers and garlic into a food processor along with a 7 oz. can of chipotles in adobo sauce (I used a little less!), a 28 oz. can of diced or stewed tomatoes, an entire bunch of green onions, salt to taste, and a liberal sprinkling of cumin. Now pulse till it's smooth, but still a little chunky. Squeeze several limes into it and dump it into a pan.
Now Mete's recipe said to bring to a boil and simmer for a half hour, but I happen to know that cooking intensifies the spice, so I didn't cook it for quite that long. And it was still plenty hot. And mighty delicious. Spicy and smoky and just about right! I brought a bunch of it to work today and my co-workers agree....
Alright y'all, stay tuned for more adventures in Mexican cuisine!