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Nothing beats serving this salsa still warm and freshly blended. The bright lime juice and herbaceous cilantro are most bracing straight out of the blender. This recipe is from Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ in Austin, TX.
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 plum tomatoes (about 2 lb.), cut into 1½" pieces
- 1 serrano chile, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup cilantro leaves with tender stems
Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Cook tomatoes, stirring occasionally, until slightly charred, 7–10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until saucy and juices are thickened, 6–8 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Transfer tomatoes to a blender and add onion, garlic, chile, cilantro, and lime juice. Purée on high until mostly smooth but still with some texture; season salsa with salt.
Do Ahead: Salsa can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.
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- 1 1/2 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into thick slices
- 1 medium onion, cut into thick slices
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon Lawry's® Coarse Ground With Parsley Garlic Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Chipotle Chili Pepper
Charred Tomato and Onion Salsa
1 lb. tomatoes, unpeeled and halved
2 large yellow onions, each cut into 3 to 4 thick slices
2 garlic clvoes
½ tsp. cumin seed
1 whole canned chipotle chili in adobo sauce
1 tbsp. adobo sauce
1 tsp. oregano leaves
½ tsp. smoked paprika
½ tsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
1½ tsp. fresh lime juice
Jorge de la Torre
Dean of Culinary Education
Johnson & Wales University
This lively salsa can multitask as a dip with chips, a topping for tacos and quesadillas or a condiment for grilled chicken, pork or fish. Charring the tomatoes, onion and garlic, then blending in paprika and chipotle peppers creates layers of smoky flavor. Lime juice and cilantro are added at the end to add acidic and herbal notes.
- 8 plum tomatoes, halved and seeded
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 seeded jalapeño pepper, quartered
- Cooking spray
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
- 1 cup diced zucchini
- 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 3 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 (10-ounce) can green chile enchilada sauce
- 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles
- 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
To prepare salsa, combine first 4 ingredients on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Broil 20 minutes or until charred, stirring once. Remove from oven cool slightly. Place tomato mixture in a food processor add cilantro, lime juice, and pepper. Process until smooth. Set aside.
To prepare casserole, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly coat pan with cooking spray. Add 1 cup onion, corn, zucchini, and bell pepper sauté 6 minutes or until tender. Add chicken and next 5 ingredients (through green chiles) sauté 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat.
Spread 1/2 cup salsa over the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange half of tortillas over salsa. Spoon 2 cups chicken mixture evenly over tortillas. Top with 3/4 cup salsa. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of each cheese. Repeat layers, starting with remaining tortillas and ending with remaining cheeses. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes until bubbly.
Grilled Yellowtail with Charred Tomato-Nopal Salsa
Combine the garlic, olive oil and lime juice in a large bowl. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a little black pepper. Place the fish in the bowl and smear all sides with the marinade. Let stand for 30 minutes.
Heat half of a gas grill to medium-high. Or light a charcoal fire and let it burn until the charcoal is covered with white ash, then bank the coals to one side. Lay the fish directly over the heat and grill until the grill marks are a rich brown and the fish releases from the grill, about 2 minutes. Flip it over and grill the other side, then move it to the cooler side and let it coast slowly to perfect doneness (the fish will flake under firm pressure from a finger), about 3 to 4 minutes.
Transfer each fillet to a dinner plate. Spoon the Charred Tomato-Nopal Salsa over the top and garnish with the crumbled chicharron.
What a nice surprise! I was waiting for being asked or should I said “forced” to buy a book or something just to navigate your site or get a recipe.
I really enjoy your PBS programs. You really found the way to showcase the culture and food from Mexico and your books in an easy and enjoyable manner.
I was telling my vacationing sister from Mexico just a few minutes ago how it could be possible than a “Guero” is showing us Mexicans how to enjoy our own food?
Keep up the excellent job you are doing!
I’ll buy a book from you. The only problem is which one is going to be!
I have enjoyed watching your daughter grow up to be the fine young lady she is today.
Just as important is your food and recipes. I’m 72 years old, and have never made tamales, so this year my son and I will make our first couple dozen. I plan on using hatch chilies to flavor the meat.
We have watched your video over and over and hopefully we will get it right. I’m mainly concerned about getting the masa right. Thanks for your demos and recipes and your love of Mexico and its people.
Hi Chef Bayless! I just made this recipe with my own tweaks, and it came out so scrumptious. I put it with BBQ Tofu, and it was heavenly. Thank you for having such an easy recipe to follow (to be fair, I am a chef and have worked with nopales before, but not in my own home).
I’ll be in Chicago in late July for the Vegetarian Festival, unfortunately I won’t be able to come eat at La Frontera. I heard you do accomodate vegans! But we are tight on cash, and it’s not a luxury I can afford. Maybe on the next go around!
Keep cooking fabulous food!
Charred Tomato and Garlic Salsa
It’s salsa time! Taco salads, burrito bowls, and tacos regularly make an appearance on our dinner table year-round. It is just so easy to season some leftover protein or cook up a batch of beans or lentils, combine it with a whole mess of veggies and some avocado, and call it dinner. Just add rice for burrito bowls, tortillas for tacos or a base of lettuce for salads, and you’re ready to go.
Needless to say, we go through a lot of salsa in our house. Corn salsa (made using the recipe from Put ‘Em Up) is a go-to for taco salads, but I’ve been hunting for a great tomato salsa recipe for bowls and tacos. The one I tried last year was fine, but not a stand-out favorite by any means.
This summer, I took a base recipe from Canning for a New Generation, cut way back on the jalapeño chiles and onions, and bumped up the amount of garlic. And by “bumped up,” I mean, “increased by 150%.” We like our roasted garlic around here! The result is a mild salsa that is well-rounded and super-flavorful. I’ll definitely be making this one again and again.
Salsa can be a tricky recipe to safely can because it is full of low-acid ingredients. You can typically swap one type of pepper for another, as long as the total weight stays the same. So if you want to make this spicier, you can decrease the amount of bell pepper and increase the jalapeños, as long as you have 8 ounces or less of peppers total. But really, this salsa has so much flavor and a little kick from all the garlic, so I personally don’t think it is necessary to change up the peppers!
- 5 pounds tomatoes, halved and cores removed
- 4 ounces jalapeño peppers, seeded and halved lengthwise
- 4 ounces bell pepper, cut into 1” wide slices
- 5 ounces garlic, peeled
- 1 pound onions, peeled and quartered
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Prepare for canning. Wash the jars and flat lids with hot, soapy water. Put the jars in the canning pot and fill the pot with hot water. Heat over medium-high heat to keep the jars hot and to bring the water to a boil.
- Spread the tomatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet, cut-side down. Turn the broiler to High and broil for 10 minutes, or until the skins are blistered and blackened.
- Spread the chiles, peppers, garlic and onions on a second baking sheet and broil until blackened, about 4-5 minutes.
- Pull off the tomato skins, keeping only the charred pieces. Discard the rest of the skins.
- In 3 batches, pulse the vegetables in a food processor or blender until coarsely chopped.
- Boil the chopped vegetables with the vinegar, salt and sugar for 5 minutes.
- Fill the jars up to 1/2” below the rim. Use a clean towel to wipe any salsa off the rims, then top each jar with a lid and a tightened ring.
- Place the jars back in the canning pot and make sure they are covered by at least 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil and process for 40 minutes. Take the lid off the canning pot and turn off the heat, and allow the jars to rest for 5 minutes.
- Place the jars on a folded towel and allow to sit, undisturbed, for 24 hours. Check the seals of the lids after 1 hour. If a seal has not formed, refrigerate the jar immediately.
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- 2 pounds fresh tomatillos, husks removed
- 10 dried chile de arbol peppers
- 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- salt to taste
Line a heavy cast iron grill pan or griddle with aluminum foil and place over high heat. Arrange tomatillos, chiles de arbol, and garlic in a single layer on top. Grill until chiles are blackened, turning as necessary, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Continue grilling tomatillos and garlic until they are evenly blackened, 8 to 10 minutes more.
Peel garlic and place in a mortar and pestle. Season with salt and pound into a thick paste. Add chiles pound until smooth. Add as many tomatillos as you can fit in your mortar pound until chunky. Transfer salsa to a bowl. Repeat with remaining tomatillos, mixing them into the bowl of salsa in batches.
Charred Tomato Salsa
I have been binge-watching Pati’s Mexican Table on Netflix lately. Several seasons of her show are available for free if you’re a Prime member. Then I bought her cookbook of the same name. One of the first things I made from the cookbook was her Charred Tomato Salsa. I love pico de gallo but sometimes I like a little variety and this salsa fit the bill.
It started because Pati’s Mexican Table, the book, was voted as Cookbook of the Month (COTM) on Chowhound. Every month members nominate cookbooks they want to cook from, then we vote for one out of the most nominated books. Then we all try to cook from the cookbook, post pictures and write up our experiences cooking. It’s been a great way to discover new cookbooks and I’ve tried recipes I might not otherwise have tried.
I have a lot of tomatoes in the garden this year. I mostly eat them just sliced on toast or with pasta or on pizza, but I do cook some of them. And this charred tomato salsa from Pati Jinich may become a new favorite way to eat tomatoes!
I’ve eaten this salsa with chips. I’ve added it to burritos and tostados. And I’ve made chile rellenos with it. All fantastic!