May 5, 2017

Fresh Mex Fire Roasted Salsa

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Deliciously fresh and so simple to make, this fire roasted salsa is my favorite! Vibrant with summertime vegetables and bold smoky flavor this recipe is healthy and vegan too. This is the typical salsa you'll find served in Mexican-style restaurants across the US. It's not just a tasty dipping sauce for tortilla chips though, try it atop steaks, scrambled eggs, or even with rice and rotis!

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This recipe does resemble the salsa served at a famous Mexican-style American restaurant chain whose claim to fame is fresh ingredients. In fact, you could even call this recipe "Fresh Mex" as their slogan states. I had a friend who worked at the original location of that restaurant chain in Alameda, California the mid-80's. She learned how to make their famous salsa and taught me how too. She told me she used to make 10 gallons of this famed dipping sauce daily at the restaurant So we had to scale the recipe down a bit and here it is! Now if I could only find decent tortilla chips here I'd be deliriously happy! But seriously, I miss Mexican food and the Californicated version of it a lot. They have the American chain Chili's in Delhi but it is horrid. As in soggy tortilla chips out of a bag, jarred salsa, and mashed kidney beans for frijoles awful.

A certain restaurant that shall remain nameless.....

So when tomatoes get ridiculously cheap or all turn ripe in my garden at once I whip up some of this yummy salsa! I can eat this stuff straight up I love it so much. Charring the vegetables really adds complexity and depth of flavor to the salsa. I char the vegetables on the gas burners of my stove but you can use a cast iron skillet also. Choose tomatoes that are really ripe and a little bigger than a ping pong ball so they'll cook just about through. Jalapeno and serrano peppers are the commonest chilis used in the American southwest and northwestern Mexico. Serranos are the hotter chili and jalapenos are milder and fleshier. Serranos are also closest in flavor to the green chilis used in most Indian cuisines too. Of course this salsa tastes great atop traditional Mexican foods like tacos, tostadas, and burritos. But give this a try with your scrambled eggs at breakfast, with a grilled chicken breast or steak, or even as a zippy chutney alongside any rice or roti based meal! Off to the recipe:

Ingredients:
8-10 medium sized tomatoes
5-6 green chilis (for less heat use half of a small bell pepper)
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 small onion, peeled and sliced in half
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 TBS oil (I use olive oil)
1 TBS white vinegar or the juice of 2 limes
2 TBS cilantro, chopped roughly
salt to taste

Here's what to do:
1) Using tongs char the chilis, tomatoes, garlic cloves, and onions thoroughly over a gas flame. Make sure vegetables are blistered and slightly softened. If you don't have a gas burner: heat a cast iron skillet until smoking hot. Drizzle tomatoes, chilis, garlic cloves, and onion with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Char all vegetables in hot skillet.

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 2) Set aside all charred vegetables and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes. Remove stems from chilis and butts from tomatoes.

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3) Place cooled tomatoes, chilis, garlic, onion, ground black pepper, oil, vinegar or lime juice, cilantro, and 2 teaspoons salt in a blender, mixie, or food processor. Do not peel the charred bits off. Pulse until smooth.

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4) Salt to taste and keep in an airtight container until ready to serve. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.

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Helpful Hint:
This recipe make a great salsa even if you don't char the vegetables! Just pop them in the blender and blitz and you're good to go!


HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO!!!
The date is observed to commemorate the Mexican Army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza. In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has become associated with the celebration of Mexican-American culture. I am a native Californian and so I'm going to be celebrating Mexican-American culture on this blog by posting Mexican-style recipes I've learned over the years throughout May. Plus, I really love Mexican food ;)

Hasta la vista, baby!

Bibi

12 comments:

  1. We're headed to the Parade in South Omaha on Saturday, but for dinner tomorrow I promised to make tacos. This salsa sounds perfect-and I have all the ingredients. I'll look forward to your other Mexican recipes.

    -Goody

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Goody,
      Oooo! Tacos sounds YUM! You will love this recipe! It is my fave.

      I just caught the maid washing our dishes with dirty mop water. Ugh. 3rd world problems. Guess I'll be rewashing the dishes with bleach & micromanaging the maid all morning this month too.

      Delete
    2. Maid are a pain in the neck. Ours does not wash the dishes properly often, which means cleaning them again. But, I guess your maid takes the cake.

      I would love to have the salsa and such a simple dish too. Curiously, it looks somewhere between keema, chole and rajma.

      Apple

      Delete
    3. Apple,
      "Salsa" is Spanish for sauce. Mexican salsas are typically like Indian chutneys and made of chilis, cilantro/hari dhania, onions, garlic, and so on. Typical Mexican food is all about corn, beans, chilis, & tomatoes. Mexican tortillas are like chapattis and can be made of atta, maida, or ground dried corn.

      I think this maid is through. The maid before this stole $, salt shakers, jewelry, dupattas. The maid before that came with her MIL who sat at our dining table yelling at me to make her tea. UGH.

      Delete
  2. Ooooh! This sounds like a fantastic recipe next time the chaps on the market are selling their tomatoes off. xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Vix,
      This is a great one to serve at summer parties with fresh tortilla chips & sangria, margaritas, or mojitos!
      xox

      Delete
  3. I celebrated Cinco de Mayo by ordering my senior coffee at McD's in Spanish: "una café abuelita con dos cremas y dos sucras". Si, my Spanish spelling is worse than my accent; however, I gave the kids a giggle.

    I've made do with a stack of tortillas when the shoppes were fresh out of na'an, so I'm certain the salsa switch would work as well.

    My favorite Mexican snack was discovered at a Japanese festival when an enterprising fellow turned up with a box of sweet corn, a hacked grill, a dish pan of mysterious salty/spicy/red powder, some sort of fat in a pan, and started grilling, dipping and rolling. Hola! He also a machete for whacking a bag of cantaloupes for juicing through what might have been an ancient sausage grinder. Sluurp! He had no permit, no Japanese and very little English (two dolla', OK?); but after he offered samples as references, he was adopted by the gang, named Senor Moto and prospered greatly...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Beth,
      I actually speak fairly decent Spanish with just a little gringa accent. The weird thing is I speak German with a Spanish accent?
      McD's has great coffee don't they? y husband loves their coffee & fries.

      There are 2 versions of that street dish of Mexican corn as I recall: elotes & esquites.
      Elotes— is the on-the-cob version of Mexican street corn and esquites is a sort of warm salad. Both are delicioso!

      Delete
  4. Bibi,I think I will try to make this.Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Hope,
      Hope you enjoy it in that gorgeous Aussie sunshine!

      Delete
  5. That salsa looks delicious. Mexican food is catching on here more in the UK, but it's still not easy to find anything great. Like curries, it's stuff I prefer to cook at home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mim,
      Thank you!
      I had Mexican food once in London, 2006. Awful. I am a spoiled Californian.

      Delete

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