Chips and salsa is the perfect food for snacking. You get some spice and heat from the salsa, the tang from the tomatoes, and an overall sense of wellbeing because you just ate a ton of veggies. Salsa is so versatile. You can add so many different ingredients together, call it salsa, and slap it on a tortilla chip. This is my salsa recipe that is a personal game time favorite.
Back in my college days I roomed with a guy from Nepal. Every few weeks he would make these most amazing dumplings stuffed with pork, veggies, and Indian spices. The best part of this dish was a dipping sauce that he would put together from roasted veggies. He wouls put tomatoes, green peppers, onions, garlic, together and roast them off in the oven. He would then add cilantro and blend it together. Essentially he was making salsa. His dipping sauce had some Indian spices that made it the perfect compliment to his dumplings, but I tweaked his recipe and gave it a Mexican flare so that it would work well with tortilla chips.
Of all the different ways one can execute salsa, I will highlight my favorite way. This is fire roasted salsa. The char on the veggies adds a depth and complexity to the salsa that just can't be duplicated. It truly is a fantastic compliment to any tortilla chip, taco, burrito, or other mexican dish.
What You Need:
7-8 medium to large tomatoes (I use roma tomatos but any in season tomato will work)
1 green pepper
2 jalapeno peppers
4-5 cloves of garlic
1 bunch of cilantro
1 tsp cumin
salt to taste
There are many ways to "fire roast" veggies. My method involves no fire whatsoever. I just use the broiler setting on the oven. I do have a grill and a smoker. Either would be an adequate substitute for the oven broiler. If you have a pork shoulder or ribs going in the smoker then just slap the veggies in there for about 30 minutes. They will pick up an amazing smokey aroma that is to die for. This is why I love salsa so much. You really can modify modify modify to your satisfaction.
Half the tomatoes and cut the onions into slices. Half the jalapenos. If you want the salsa mild then remove the seeds. If you want the salsa hot then leave the seeds and use the full pepper. You can also feel free to add a habanero or something truly spicey. My wife hates spicey so my default is mild. Peel the garlic set aside the cilantro and the seasonings.
Place in oven for about 8-10 minutes each side. This is not a point to go watch t.v. Pay attention! These vegetables can burn in an instant. Once vegetables are developing a charred color flip veggies over and roast another 4-6 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool.
Remove skin from the tomatoes. It should peel right off with your fingers. If you want a chunky salsa then give all veggies a rough chop and add to a pot on stove. If you want it smooth with some texture put all veggies plus cilantro in a blender and blend. If you went the chunky rought then bring ingredients to a boil in the pot and add the cumin and salt to taste. I boil it to release some of the juices and cause the veggies to break down further which will allow you to get that liquid chunky salsa like you would from a jar. If you blended the ingredients add the cumin and salt and enjoy!
So now that you have the salsa and chips in hand you are free to sit down and enjoy the game. I occassionaly will add lime juice to mine. I will also make it chunky or smooth. There are different peppers and tomatoes that can be added as well. Feel free to post comments with your variations as I would love to hear them!