Learn how to Char Tomatoes over a wood fire to make the perfect light Summer Salsa. Brining Chicken Breasts insures a juicy interior. I serve it chunky – it’s loaded with fresh flavor
Soaking wood chips – and adding them to a V-shaped metal smoking box transforms a gas grill to something special… a smoky essence lingers in the Salsa and Chicken.
This is one recipe where the technique is as important as the ingredients.
With few ingredients here – their quality is key.
Don’t expect a wonderful salsa with winter tomatoes of poor flavor.
Smoking foods in a gas grill is really not complicated (see recipe) and lends just the right bit of natural smokiness. The salsa has few ingredients – all the flavors will shine.
I’m loving the salsa with warm pasta, as a base for crostini and as a topping for your favorite grilled foods.
A great dip too for organic tortilla chips, or as a base for Mexican recipes.
Visit a Farmers’ Market where the tomatoes have just been picked. Ripe but firm tomatoes will work best in the charred salsa. These tomatoes were purchased at Green Thumb in Water Mill, NY.
Garlic is now in season! – purchase locally, the cloves are full of juice, way more flavorful than winter garlic.
To make the Charred Salsa:
Wood chips are soaked, drained and added to a V-shaped metal smoking box and nestled under the grates of the grill. (See recipe for making one!) After about 15 minutes they will smoke – time to add the tomatoes, poblano chile and garlic cloves – on a grill sheet, or on narrow grates.
Turn until charred, then remove skin from the poblano and garlic – chop all for the salsa.
Add sherry vinegar, a little sugar, salt & pepper, parsley and extra virgin olive oil ~ and let the flavors meld.
Poblano chili peppers (widely known for the chile relenno recipe) have a nice pleasant, mild heat. The jalapeño chili is about five times hotter, and can be substituted in the recipe.
While poblanos tend to have a mild flavor, occasionally and unpredictably they can have a touch more heat. 1,000 -1,500 on the Scoville scale (a measurement of the pungency spiciness/heat of pepper of chili peppers.) Dried, it is called ancho chile.