Friday, September 11, 2009

Newspaper Recipes: Fire Roasted Pepper Salsa

I think I would need to live 3 lifetimes in order to be able to try every recipe I have ever clipped from the newspaper. Lately I've been trying even harder to pare down my ever-growing collection using the following criteria:

a.) Is it too high in fat.
b.) Does it use ingredients that I usually do not have in the fridge or pantry.
c.) Is it so complex that I may only make it once (or have only made it once).
d.) Am I never going to make it, so that the little scrap of paper will end up in the endless purgatory of my hutch drawer.

Roasted peppers: like saturated pigment paints.

This recipe soared its way past my criteria, and even made its way into my handwritten moleskine notebook that I carry with me when I travel. It's so easy that it can be made in 10 minutes (not including the roasting...but you could roast the peppers anytime and even freeze them roasted), it's so versatile, that you can pretty much throw in whatever you love, and it can be served with or on top of anything and everything. Pretty much a winner all the way around.

As I recall, it was found about 2 years ago in a local free paper that I used to toss right into the recycle bin. After finding it, I then eagerly perused the paper each time it came before tossing it directly into the recycle bin. We don't seem to get that many free papers or even mail that much anymore, so I haven't seen any more free recipes from Mollie Katzen, who appeared at the time to have a syndicated recipe column. I have several of her cookbooks, so it was no surprise really that this recipe fit all of my keeping criteria.

So, here it is: keep in mind that really every ingredient is optional, and you can use whichever peppers you choose. I used some poblanos today, so I omitted the cayenne.

Fire Roasted Pepper Salsa - Mollie Katzen
  • 2 lbs red, yellow and/or orange peppers, broiled or grilled
  • splash of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 t. minced garlic
  • 1/2 t. salt or to taste
  • 2 t. cider vinegar
  • 1 T. fresh lemon or lime juice
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1/2 t. sugar, optional
  • 1/2 t. cumin, optional

Grill (or broil, or roast at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes until blackened in spots) peppers, discard seeds, and reserve any juice. Mince pepper flesh, stir in the rest of the ingredients. That's it. I don't even measure anything, just eyeball. Mollie's notes say you can add finely minced cucumber and diced avocado, but when I tucked it into the fridge next to some corn on the cob leftover from last night's dinner, I was thinking that may be a good addition as well.

I love this on eggs, grilled cheese or other sandwiches or on fish and added to miscellaneous taco fillings that make up the bulk of my diet.

And I love how it looks waiting to be used in the refrigerator. I love vinegar, and like to imagine that I could get about 2 weeks durability out of this salsa due to its addition...but it never lasts that long. I have to get a new pressure canner lid and experiment with canning some of this up. But I do believe that will be a project for next year.

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