Sunday, September 18, 2011

Smoky Chipotle Salsa with Pan-Roasted Tomatillos

Since the season for tomatillos at the farmers' market is nearly at an end, I'll take the opportunity to share one last stellar salsa recipe, from the genius mind of the inimitable Rick Bayless. This is not a salsa for the faint of heart, packed with smokiness and lots of heat courtesy of the chipotles en adobo. Unless you really love spice, you can't dig into this in like fresh or roasted tomatillo salsa, but just a small amount adds a ton of flavor to tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, or quesadillas. It also blends beautifully with sour cream as a dip for tortilla chips, tempering the heat of the chipotles with creamy, rich sour cream. And if you're stuffed from allergies or your first cold of the season, make up a batch of this spicy salsa to clear your sinuses right up!

Smoky Chipotle Salsa with Pan-Roasted Tomatillos
from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless
makes about 1 1/4 cups

3 garlic cloves, peeled
4 medium (about 8 ounces total) tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and cut in half
2 canned chipotle chiles en adobo (or more, if you like really spicy salsa)

1. Set a large (10-inch) nonstick skillet over medium-high heat (if you don't have a nonstick skillet, lay in a piece of foil). Lay in the garlic and tomatillos (cut side down). When the tomatillos are well-browned, 3 or 4 minutes, turn everything over and brown the other side. (The tomatillos should be completely soft).

2. Scoop the garlic and tomatillos into a blender jar or food processor, along with the chiles and 1/4 cup water. Process to a coarse puree. Pour into a salsa dish and cool.

3. Thin with a little additional water if necessary to give the salsa an easily spoonable consistency. Taste and season with salt, usually a generous 1/2 teaspoon.

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