Friday, June 27, 2014

Relay For Life Salsa

Salsa verde and Salsa Rojo
For the last couple of years I have donated my time and food to the Relay For Life cancer walk in Whitley County, Indiana. My cousin Tammy is a cancer survivor and is a big contributor and driving force behind the fundraiser. Last year, I made 25 lbs of pulled pork for the Relay's survivor dinner. It always feels great to contribute to such a good cause.

This year, when Tammy ask me if I wanted to pitch in, she told me they were making a taco bar. I knew instantly what I wanted to contribute – authentic Mexican style taco sauce! I decided to make a salsa verde as well as a salsa roja and I wanted to charcoal grill the vegetables to add further depth to what I think is mandatory for a great taco - GREAT TACO SAUCE!

The night before, I bought the fresh vegetables and took them to the family campground where I crashed for the night. In the morning I woke up, brewed some coffee and fired up the charcoal. I grilled the vegetables and blended everything down in two batches making a quart of each type of salsa - plus a little extra for my own tacos later that night.

Fresh off the grill
I decided to go mild with these batches. I love hot salsa, but I have found the majority of people at large dinner events prefer mild to no spice. It almost disappoints me that so many people are afraid of the heat, but I accept it and make the adjustment when cooking for crowds.

I was really happy with how this salsa turned out, the smoky grill added an extra element of flavor to the salsas and the final product had a smooth and silky consistency. One thing I have been doing the last few times I have made taco sauce is letting it liquify in the blender for a good amount of time. I pulse it at first, then turn it to high and let it go for 5 or 6 minutes, I also add a little water to thin it out, which really makes it nice and easy to spoon onto the tacos!

Eat well, cook often ...

THE RECIPES
Salsa roja
4 medium Tomatoes, quartered
4 medium Onion, quatered
6 cloves Garlic
2 Jalapenos, stemmed and seeded
4 Ancho chilis, toasted
1/2 C Cilantro
2 Limes, zest and juice
2 Tbs honey
Water as needed

Salsa verde
10 tomatillos halved
4 medium Onion, quartered
6 cloves Garlic
2 Jalapenos, stemmed and seeded
1/2 C Cilantro
2 Limes, zest and juice
2 Tbs honey
Water as needed

Toss vegetables in a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper to taste. Grill until wilted and cooked soft. 8 to 10 minutes, rotating and moving around as needed. Put grilled vegetables in blender along with all other ingredients and blend until liquified, 5 to 6 minutes. Adjust seasoning if needed.




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