Chipotle Chili Salsa (Salsa de Chile Chipotle y Jitomate)
The smoke-dried jalapeño, known as the chipotle chili, adds a distinctive wood-fire flavor to this simple tomato table salsa from Puebla.
- 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 2 ripe tomatoes, about 3/4 lb. total
- 3 dried chipotle chilies or canned chipotle chilies in adobo
- Sea salt, to taste
Heat a fry pan over medium heat. Place the garlic cloves in the pan and roast, turning them frequently, until they soften and their skins blacken, about 10 minutes. Let cool, then peel off the charred skin. Set the garlic aside.
Line a heavy fry pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil and heat over medium heat. Place the tomatoes in the pan and roast, turning them occasionally, until the skin is blistered and begins to blacken and the interior softens. Let cool, then carefully trim off only the most blackened parts of the skin. Set the tomatoes aside.
If using dried chilies, place them in a saucepan, add water to cover and salt the water. Bring to a simmer and simmer until the chilies are softened, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid, and place the chilies in a blender or food processor along with about 1/4 cup of the liquid. If using canned chilies, scrape off some of the adobo sauce and put the chilies in a blender or food processor.
Add the garlic to the blender along with the tomatoes and process very briefly. The mixture should be thick and slightly chunky.
Pour the salsa into a bowl and season with salt. Cover the bowl and let the flavors meld for 20 to 30 minutes before serving. Makes about 1 cup.