Some recipe ideas from Philthy’s Kitchen
Philthy’s Salsa recipe.
A few years ago I took a Mexican cooking course at Chef Parade in Zizkov, Prague and was lucky to be schooled by chef Patricio Paganoni who made simple Mexican cuisine so easy to make.
5 whole cloves of garlic
5-6 red peppers
1 big red onion
4 good-sized tomatoes
2-3 Habanero or Scotch Bonnet chilies
3-4 whole dried chillies
(Please note: always go with your own particular spice thresholds. I like spice, so I use 4-5 fresh chilies, but that level of fie can hurt the unwary or unprepared.)
salt and pepper (always be seasoning!)
Large frying pan – the biggest you have
1. Peel the garlic cloves, roughly chop the de-seeded red peppers and prepare the red onion by peeling and chopping into chunks. Best to chop everything into chunks – not small slices
2. Cut the tomatoes in half and remove abotu half of the watery centre. The more of the tomato centre left in will make your salsa overly runny and with a strong tomato flavour. If that’s your thing, then go for it, but try it this way first and adjust as necessary next time.
3. Get your large frying pan on the heat with a little oil. Make sure the pan is smoking hot before you drop the vegetables in.
4. Add the tomatoes, garlic cloves, onion and peppers to the hot pan. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Keep the heat up high and let the vegetables get a little bit of black on them – it really adds to the flavour, but don’t let the whole thing sit and burn.
6. While the vegetables are cooking down, take the dried chilies and carefully hold them over a flame to get them smoking and burnt. Drop them into the vegetables and gentle mix them in. Again the smoky, spicy chilies with add some kick to the final result and tastes so much better than using a packet mix or other powdered flavourings. If you like it hot use 5 or 6 chilies, but remember “what goes in must come out”.
UPDATE (21/09/14): Today I tried using 2 Ghost Chilies in this recipe and the results were quite incredible. Heat? Yes, and then some. In fact too much heat which really took a lot away from the salsa flavours. So the next batch, I went for one de-seeded Ghost Chili and that worked a lot better).
7. Once the tomatoes have all gone soft and lost their shape, turn the heat off and get your blender ready.
8. Spoon the vegetable mix into your blender. Before blitzing the crap out of it, add a tablespoon of water, which will help the vegetables mix together nicely while being chopped and liquified in the blender. Don’t use any more water than a tablespoon. If you want an extra hit of smokey flavour, add a small shot of BBQ sauce – not necessary but it works with the final salsa dish.
9. Blitz on high for about 10 seconds and check the texture. If you like your salsa thin, then you will want to blitx for another 10-15 seconds. Personally i like a little texture, so i only blitz it to get rid of the chunky vegetables and to make sure the smaller vegies (chillies and garlic) are all combined.
And the final product next to my World Class Guacamole (recipe coming soon).
Enjoy! If you try this please let me know how it went and any thoughts on variations and/or improvements.
Some ideas on assembly: