Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fire Roasted Salsa

I'm very excited to be the winner of this beautiful molcajete in a blog giveaway! Thank you Mely! Mely has a wonderful blog, Mexico in My Kitchen, where she posts mouth-watering recipes for authentic Mexican food. If you haven't seen Mely's blog yet, go take a look. You'll find all sorts of great food!
A molcajete is a bowl carved in one piece by hand from volcanic stone and is used to make salsa, guacamole and other condiments. The molcajete was too heavy to weigh on my kitchen scale, but it's very heavy! The tejolote, which is the round hand held grinder weighed in at 1 pound, 5 ounces! Before using a new molcajete, it must be seasoned. This is done by grinding white rice until it becomes a gray powder, having picked up some of the volcanic rock in the process. This is repeated until the rice powder remains white. This ensures that when you make salsa, it will be grit free.  Here's an interesting video that shows how these beauties are made:

Let's make salsa! I roasted onion, serrano chiles, garlic, tomatillos and tomatoes on a comal, which is simply a round cast iron griddle.
I coarsely chopped the vegetables, then put them in the molcajete in batches and ground them. 
When the vegetables were the consistency I wanted, I put the batch into a bowl and continued until everything had been ground.
This was very good salsa with a chunky consistency that I love. I didn't put cilantro in this because my gardener has the anti-cilantro gene. When I want salsa, I chop up enough cilantro and add it to my own bowl. Of course, if you don't have a molcajete, this salsa can be made using a food processor or blender.

Fire Roasted Salsa
3 Roma tomatoes, seeded
3 Serrano chiles, split and seeded
1 onion, thickly sliced
3 tomatillos, halved
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp salt
Cilantro to taste

Dry roast vegetables on a cast iron pan. Coarsely chop all vegetables and transfer to a molcajete in batches until all vegetables have been processed to the desired consistency (see note).  Add lemon juice, salt and cilantro. Chill and serve with tortilla chips or over food as a condiment.

Note: Alternately, vegetables can be transferred to a food processor and pulsed until the desired consistency has been reached.

I'm linking up to:

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special