By Joel Smart
This easy-to-make tomato salsa is easily tailored to your preferred heat and taste. Even for a novice it can be made in less than an hour, and the results will make you wonder why you ever bothered buying pre-made salsa before. Don’t be afraid to let the veggies get pretty dark under the broiler; it’s the key to getting Hot Smoke Salsa just right.
6 large tomatoes, cored and halved
4 medium cloves of garlic, peeled
4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (canned)
3 small carrots, washed
3 Thai dragon chilies
2 large red peppers
1 jalapeño pepper
1 large cooking onion, halved and sliced
1 tsp white vinegar
Sea salt and ground pepper to taste
(optional: 1 pack Wendy’s chili sauce)
Lay tomatoes face-down on lightly greased, foil-lined tray.
Add onions, garlic, and carrots on tray.
Place full red peppers, jalapeño, and Thai chilies on tray.
Spray or drizzle canola oil over veggies and place tray in the oven on rack 5-10 inches from broiler.
Broil on high for 10 minutes.
Remove any blackened tomato skins or onion slices that seem very charred and place in bottom of large plastic storage container. Rotate peppers so all sides blacken. Return tray to oven.
Continue to check veggies every 10 minutes, rotating peppers and removing any blackened veggies. Fill the plastic storage container with finished veggies.
Once peppers are fully charred, place in separate plastic storage container and seal with lid. Let sit until cool, as the steam will improve flavour.
Remove peppers from container. Cut off red pepper stems and slice lengthwise, opening peppers up and removing all seeds. Easily peel off blackened red pepper skins. Discard skins, stem and seeds.
Carefully cut stems off jalapeño and Thai chilies, without touching the seeds or inside juices, as they can burn your fingers if you aren’t wearing gloves. Discard stems, but don’t seed the hot peppers as the seeds add heat and flavour you don’t want to miss.
Add peppers to original plastic storage container.
Spoon desired chipotle peppers in adobo sauce into container as well.
Use hand blender to mix veggies and peppers until smooth, with no visible chunks.
Stir in vinegar (and chili sauce if desired).
Once cooled, add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in your favourite hot sauce for extra heat.
Image by: MattCC716 / flickr