My daughter decided to make salsa as an extra credit assignment for her Spanish class. We have used an off-the-hook simple recipe given to me by a patient who is a Mexican native. Her recipe calls for roasting the tomatoes under the broiler until the skins turn black. As I taught my daughter in a test run the other evening, it occurred to us that instead of blistering the skins under the broiler, we might be able to improve the flavor with smoke. Did I say "might?"
With that in mind, I searched the good 'ol SMF for smoked tomatoes, and -- low-and-behold -- the smoking brother/sisterhood came through again! Based on SMF member suggestions, we smoked Roma tomatoes split in half. I also decided to smoke the garlic and serrano peppers.
The original recipe calls for mixing chopped:
- 5 tomatoes blistered under a broiler and peeled
- one bunch of green onions
- 2-4 serrano peppers
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 bunch of fresh cilantro
- salt to taste
We put everybody in the smoker with last night's dinner (pork chops and MOINK balls) and pulled the peppers & garlic after about 1.5 hours.
My daughter pulled the tomatoes at about the 3 hour mark (I had to go back to the office).
They wound up looking a bit like sun-dried tomatoes. They smelled really good. After cooling, it was a simple matter of dicing everything up, mixing together and let everything shake hands overnight.
The recipe calls for chopped green onions and cilantro....
Of course, we couldn't resist a preview taste-test!!!!
The result was something quite different than the original salsa recipe. The smoke flavor was a really nice addition, but the tomatoes were soft instead of firm -- changing the texture & consistency of the salsa so as to make it seem an entirely new & really tasty product. The original recipe is bright and fresh in flavor and very firm in texture/consistency. The changes we made added smoke flavor, but took away from the other features.
Tweaks to our next attempt would be to smoke the tomatoes for a much shorter period (1.5 hours?) or cold smoke them in an attempt to keep the fresh tomato consistency and still get the smokey goodness.
All told, I can state confidently that this first batch of smoked salsa WILL NOT last long in my daughter's salsa event, nor will our second attempt be too far out in the future.
Thanks for looking!