Sunday, October 25, 2009

Salsa Roja!

Whenever I get asked for my salsa roja recipe, I always have to disappoint people because I've never actually quantified and written down it down, so whenever I give them the general outline of what to do, they invariably come back to me and say they were unable to replicate my results. This also makes it hard on myself because making a "quick" batch of salsa always involves extra time spent carefully adjusting the seasonings because I can never remember how many pinches of salt I added the last time I made it and how big those pinches were and whether it was the juice of three three or four limes.

Well, hopefully, those days are over now. As I whipped up a batch of salsa in preparation to make tortas, I took the time to carefully measure practically every ingredient that went into the batch.

One thing that really shocked me was how much salt it takes. Those pinches really add up! On that note please to keep in mind that the recipe calls for kosher salt, which due to it's flaky nature is less dense than granulated table salt.

If you're using granular salt, I'd say use 1/2 the called for salt as a jumping off point when making your own and adjust from there to your liking.

This makes a little over a quart of salsa.

Salsa Roja
2 lbs. Roma tomatoes, stems removed and cut in half lengthwise
2 medium white onions, stems removed and cut in half lengthwise
1 head garlic, with top removed to expose the flesh
2 serrano peppers, stem end removed and cut in half lengthwise
10 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
5 tbsp. kosher salt
5 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 and 1/4 cups fresh chopped cilantro
3/4 cup water

Place the tomatoes, white onions, garlic, and peppers on an ungreased cookie sheet and place into a 450° oven for thirty minutes.

The skin on the tomatoes should begin to loosen and split and the tomatoes will shed some liquid:


Turn the oven to broil and cook for another 5-8 minutes until the tomatoes begin to darken; remove all vegetables from the oven:



Transfer the tomatoes to a high-walled container or the goblet of your blender.


Transfer the remaining roasted vegetables to a cutting board.

Squeeze the roasted garlic out through the cut end and chop the onions and serrano chilies roughly to aid in blending:


Transfer the garlic, chilies, and onions to the blending vessel.

Add the water.

With an immersion blender or your traditional blender, blend the roasted vegetables together until smooth:


Add the cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper and blend to thoroughly combine. You may wish to add only half of the salt and pepper and then adjust to taste with the rest in case your personal preferences do not match my own.

Enjoy your finished salsa roja!


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