It is pretty hard to grow up in Texas and not have a thing for salsa. The quality of the salsa can make or break a Mexican dining experience. If I sit down at a Mexican place and the salsa is lackluster it is rather difficult to look forward to the rest of the meal. However, really good chips and salsa can almost ruin the rest of my meal, because I just can’t stop eating the scoops of salsa and I spoil my appetite for the rest of my dinner.
Growing up in The Woodlands, our neighborhood Tex-Mex place, Los Cucos, had two really awesome salsas served with those incredibly addicting thin style chips. One was a slightly spicy, classic roasted tomato but the real star was a spicy, creamy green salsa. It was great spooned on top of faijtas or just shoveled into my mouth with those chips. When I saw this recipe back in February on Lottie + Doof, I immediately remembered the green salsa at Los Cucos and wondered if this recipe could live up to my childhood memory. It does. For such a short list of ingredients it is really amazing how bright and vibrant and tasty this salsa is. I can’t wait to try it with garlic and jalapeños from the farmers’ market later this summer. Give it a try. Its really better than anything you may find in a jar.
Creamy Roasted Jalapeño Salsa
Recipe adapted from Rick Bayless via Lottie + Doof
6 ounces jalapeño chiles (about 5-6), stemmed
10 garlic cloves
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup vegetable oil
handful of cilantro (optional; I used it the 2nd time I made it and I liked it)
In a large skillet over medium heat, roast the jalapeños and unpeeled garlic until soft and blotchy brown, 15-20 minutes. I turn the jalapeños somewhat often to try to get all the sides. Cool*, then peel the garlic and roughly chopped the jalapeños. (you can remove some of the seeds, to control heat) Combine the garlic, chiles, and lime juice in a blender and pulse to finely chop. Turn blender on and slowly dribble in the oil. Pour into a small bowl and add a tablespoon or two of water to thin the salsa. Taste and add salt, about a teaspoon.
This salsa is really best in the first 24 hours. You can keep it for a day or two, in the fridge- re-blend if it starts to separate.
*The 2nd time that I made this salsa, I roasted everything and put it in a bowl and stuck it in the fridge for 2 days, then blended everything up the night I wanted to have it. It tasted just as good as making everything in one day.