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simple sunday: restaurant salsa

September 25, 2011

Where the heck have I been?  People, graduate school is a time suck.  They really undersell you on the amount of time it takes to be a good passing student.

Enough complaining because really, life hasn’t been that bad.  I haven’t been blogging but I have still been eating really well.  Whitney, as it turns out, is an awesome cook.  He has taken the reins on making dinner Monday – Wednesday nights and its been great.

Usually, when I make salsa at home, I make my mom’s recipe.  Which is awesome because it doubles as pico de gallo and can be used as a topping on tacos, fish, etc.

But my favorite restaurant salsa in the world is the one at Javier’s in Dallas.  We had dinner there when we went to the LSU-Oregon game in Dallas over Labor Day weekend and I had forgotten how much I loved it.  They serve the salsa warm and it is pureed to the perfect consistency.  Not too liquidy but no big chunks.

In other news, my spell check is saying “liquidy” is not a word.

So anyway, after we got back to Houston from the football game, I looked all over the interweb for a smooth salsa recipe.  I found a few and made some adjustments and here we go:

Halve the tomatoes and jalapenos, quarter the onion, and peel the garlic.  Lay it all out on a cookie sheet.

Roast the veggies at 375 degrees F for 1 hour or until they look like this:

You want the tomatoes to look sorta caramelized and the onions to just start to brown.  The jalapenos and garlic will look like they are dried out, but don’t worry, they aren’t.

So in small batches, throw the vegetables into a blender.

IMPORTANT note: do not put the lid on your blender.  Put a towel over the top and put your hand on the towel to keep it on there.  The steam from the vegetables will make the top fly off of your blender and then the salsa will be on your walls.  This is for real y’all.

I pulsed the blender instead of just flipping it on so that the veggies retain a teeny-tiny bit of chunkiness.  You want this to be liquidy (here we go again) but not completely smooth.

After blending, throw each batch in a bowl.  Once you’ve got all of it in the bowl, add the olive oil, some cumin and some cayenne.  I’m not telling you how much to add bc this is a taste thing and its up to you.  I’d start with a 1/2 teaspoon of each and go from there.  Honestly, I just sprinkle straight from the bottle until it looks good and doused.

And another note: if you don’t want it too spicy, remove the seeds from the jalapenos before roasting.  Alternatively, if you think my salsa is too wimpy, add more jalapenos.  Or serranos.

Restaurant Salsa

20-25 Roma tomatoes
3 jalapenos
1 yellow onion
10 cloves garlic
1/4 c olive oil
cayenne pepper, to taste
cumin, to taste

Halve the tomatoes and jalapenos, quarter the onion, and peel the garlic.  Lay it all out on a cookie sheet.  Roast the veggies at 375 degrees F for 1 hour or until the tomatoes are caramelized, the onions to just start to brown and the jalapenos and garlic look dried out.

In small batches, throw the vegetables into a blender.   After blending, throw each batch in a bowl.  Once you’ve got all of it in the bowl, add the olive oil, and the cumin and cayenne to taste.  Serve with tortilla chips.

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