OK so I kind of have a salsa problem. I have been making different salsas for the past 3 days and I think everyone in my house is thoroughly done eating salsa for awhile. I just wanted to play around with making a Tomatillo Salsa, a roasted & spiced salsa and a light guacamole salsa. They all have a lot of the same ingredients but taste really different. I like to have an array of salsas because I like mixing and matching. I’m a double and often triple dipper.
The tomatillo salsa I made probably turned out the best and it was pretty simple. This is the youtube video I modeled my recipe after: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B87lroqZseQ
I used about 75% tomatillos and then roasted some romas on a cast iron skillet to add as well. It turned out SO GOOD, and you can control the spice with how many chilis de arbol you toast and add. When I blended everything up (because I don’t own a molcajete) I added some brown sugar and vinegar to the mix. Barely any, but it really makes a difference in taste. Delicious!
The next day I did the same recipe but a larger batch and using all the romas I had (because they were on their last leg.) So it went from a tomatillo salsa to a smokey chili de arbol roasted tomato salsa. This one turned out pretty good, with the added sugar and vinegar as well, but tasted a lot more like a super spicy enchilada sauce than a salsa. I used it to marinate tofu and made some super delicious tofu / fried plantain / black bean burritos with sliced red pepper, celery and carrot. SO GOOD. I ate these for two days.
Since I wasn’t as happy with the roasted tomato version of this salsa, I decided to tweak some of the batch. I put a couple cups of the salsa in a pan on the stove and cooked it up with cilantro, diced onion, tomato, brown sugar and cinnamon. It came out with a much sweeter, more complex and mole-like flavor. When I served all my salsas side by side at the end of the day, this is the one people had the most to say about. It definitely came into its own, flavor-wise, after it cooled off and sat for a few minutes. Really fucking delicious.
The last salsa I made was a guacamole with a severely skewed avocado to other ingredient ratio. I just wanted a light creamy coating of avocado on a fresh chunky salsa. So I mashed one avocado, diced up tomato, onion, cilantro and jalapeno, added a dash of salt and brown sugar, salt and pepper and squirted lime over everything. It was really creamy, light and refreshing. Went well to balance the flavors of the other salsas.
So, as you can see, I tried to offer a variety of flavors to my salsa sampler. Something really fresh and creamy: the guacamole. Something sweet and smokey: the roasted tomato salsa, and something traditional and tangy: the tomatillo chili de arbol salsa. People were double dipping their chips so I knew it was a success. These can also make great marinades and bases for sauces. Miyuki suggested the super spicy roasted tomato salsa be used as a base for a Puttanesca sauce which I thought was genius. But obviously you can cook all sorts of veggies, meats and proteins in these to add a spicy kick to their flavor. SO GOOD.