A mom's journal of the sweet things in her life...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Roasted Tomato and Jalapeno Salsa AND Roasted Tomato and Jalapeno Salsa With Baked Goat Cheese

There's something so much more special about a salsa made with roasted tomatoes, jalapenos, onions and garlic. I love the black flecks of the charred skins from the vegetables in this salsa. Just seems so rustic. It also adds another layer of flavor - a smokiness that sets this apart from regular salsa. 
If you're not careful, this salsa could knock your socks off. I de-seed two of the jalapenos and leave the seeds in the third. As you know, the seeds are where the 'venom' from the jalapeno hides, the heat that you either love or hate. If you're a hater, you could either de-seed all of the jalapenos, or leave them out altogether. Substitute a different, milder pepper if you like. But we like it hot, and even with only one of the three jalapenos left with the seeds, this salsa has a good amount of heat. The noticeable kind - but it's not overwhelming. 
This salsa is definitely good enough to stand alone. It doesn't need anything more. Make this for your guests and you're sure to impress. But if you want to take it one step further and 'wow' them, you can bake your salsa with a goat cheese center. It's heaven. And the creaminess of the cheese helps to balance out the heat, so there's that. Whichever way you go, you must try this one. It's not nearly as labour-intensive as it sounds. And it's worth every second of it.  Plus, it holds longer than a regular salsa, you can make it the day before and it's only going to get better.
Recipe for Roasted Salsa 
Adapted from: Chaos in the Kitchen

1 1/2 pounds tomatoes (about 10 medium roma tomatoes, or 6 vine-ripened tomatoes)
1 to 3 fresh jalapeño peppers (1 to 1 1/2 ounces), stemmed
Half of a small white onion, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rings
6 garlic cloves, peeled
juice of 2 limes (or to taste)
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, loosely packed
1 to 1 1/2 generous teaspoons kosher salt (or to taste)

Heat the broiler. Cut your tomatoes in half and core them. Cut your jalapenos in half, leaving the seeds in as many as you like, depending on your tolerance for heat. Place cut tomatoes and jalapeños on a broiler pan or baking sheet, cut side down.

Broil for about 6 to 8 minutes, until skins have blistered and have blackened spots. Allow to cool.
Set the oven to 425 degrees F. On a separate pan or baking sheet, combine the onions and garlic.
Roast in the oven, stirring occasionally, until browned and soft, about 15 to 20 minutes. Allow to cool.
Add jalapeños, onions, and garlic to a food processor and pulse to desired consistency. Scoop out into a bowl. Add tomatoes to the processor and pulse to a rough puree.
Pour tomatoes into the bowl with jalapeño mixture and stir. Add lime juice, cilantro and salt to taste.
Now, are you still with me? Cause it only gets better from here.

Recipe for Roasted Salsa with Baked Goat Cheese
Adapted from: Chaos in the Kitchen
4 oz goat cheese, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
salt, to taste
2 cups Roasted Tomato and Jalapeno Salsa (recipe above)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In the bowl of your food processor, pulse the goat cheese and cream cheese until combined. Add salt to taste. Scrape the cheese out of the bowl and form a disk. Place the disk of cheese into the center of a baking dish. Scoop the salsa around the cheese. Bake until warmed through, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips.

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