Roasted tomato salsa can’t be beat for flavor and freshness. I love this salsa so much, I actually think it’s addictive. I make this recipe with my favorite chile pepper: dried red chipotles. Yes, I am oven roasting dried chile peppers. Most, if not all recipes I have looked at, call for fresh chile peppers to be oven roasted.
I discovered a great salsa that has roasted dried chiles in it. I was recently at Dos Caminos Mexican restaurant in New York City and was blown away by the taste of their salsa. As I was leaving the restaurant I discovered they were selling a cookbook on tacos, which had some of their own salsa recipes in it (Dos Caminos Tacos: 100 Recipes for Everyone’s Favorite Mexican Street Food by Ivy Stark with Joanna Pruess). Of course I had to get it. I read the recipe for “Roasted Tomato Chile De Arbol Salsa” and was surprised that it called for oven roasting the dried chiles. It also called for a fresh serrano chile, but at the time I made my first batch, I did not have any. I thought that since their recipe already included dried chiles, I could just add a different dried chile. So I used dried red chipotles in place of the fresh serrano. I also used some tomatoes that had been hand picked that day. The combination of all the ingredients was great. It made a nice mild salsa that was very fresh, sweet and smoky. I really loved the salsa with chipotle peppers.
The next time I made the salsa, I decided to make it with dried chipotles only, which I felt gave it enough heat for a mild tasting salsa. In later batches, I added one, then two dried “ghost chiles” (bhut jolokia) to keep raising the heat level. Even with the addition of hotter chiles I found the salsa kept its sweet, smoky flavor. If you really like things hot, increase the number of ghost chiles. So far, I think that two of these chiles makes it hot enough for me.
This salsa can be made with any fresh or dried chile or combination of chiles. Experiment and make it your own. I am going to stick with the smoky flavor of the chipotle peppers.
Original post date: 8-6-2014
Every once in a while, I find it’s a good idea to circle back to some of my favorite recipes and make sure they produce the same results I planned on. After moving to a new home where I now have a gas oven instead of the electric oven I used to develop the recipe, I discovered that the dried chile peppers where charring too much under the broiler. I corrected this problem by covering the dried chile peppers with the tomato halves. The dried chile peppers will still heat through and get rehydrated from the juice of the tomato halves. If you are using fresh chile peppers in this recipe instead of dried ones, there is no need to cover them. You want them to get slightly charred for additional flavor.