It’s a Salsa Party!

It is possible that there are better things in life than fresh, homemade salsa.  Possible, but unlikely.

You might think that Southern California is the land of beaches and movie stars, but really, it is the land of burritos and salsa bars.  It is all about the salsa around here.  I’ve had some amazing salsa at some amazing places, but none compare to my dad’s grilled salsa…  None.  I think he got the recipe from a friend way back, and ever since he has perfected the wonderful tomato-ey, spicy, warm, tangy, cilantro-ey flavor that makes the perfect, perfect salsa.

I am a gardener, and I have a friend, Bruce, who is a KILLER gardener who grows a bazillion pounds of tomatoes every summer (I grow a moderate amount).  So when the tomatoes are ripe, we all get together with my parents and have an annual salsa making party.  Well, this was the second annual, but who’s counting?

It is a super fun time, with lots of margaritas and mariachi music (essential, but unlisted ingredients in any serious salsa recipe).

Here are a few pics, and of course, the recipe.

Most of our tomatoes were home grown.  The tomatoes were Early Girl, and Magnum tomatoes.  We used jalapeño, habañero, serrano, poblaño, and anaheim chiles.

This is my dad- Gary of Gary’s Grilled Salsa- I think he’s squeezing a lime here.

Here I am, hard at work.

Our assembly for the salsa- small batch by small batch my dad added ingredients in the blender, and combined it all- in the (well scrubbed) outdoor sink!

We had I think 80-90 pounds of tomatoes! The gas grill was joined by the old Weber.

The finished product. Now that’s spicy.

Gary’s Grilled Salsa

30 lbs of tomatoes for 8 to 10 quarts of salsa.

12 habañero peppers
12 jalapeños
16 mild relleno peppers (about 2 per quart)
10 – 12 tomatillos
2-4 bunches of cilantro
3 yellow or white onions (raw)
20 good size garlic cloves – raw (about 2 to 3 per quart)
10 limes
Lots of kosher salt
Roast or grill the tomatoes, tomatillos and peppers until they’re really cooked and the skin is black… but don’t let the peppers burn up.
Make it as you go, filling each blender full like a  batch of salsa.  Add grilled tomatoes, peppers, raw cilantro, onions, garlic and squeeze 2 lime halves in each blender full.  Salt each batch to taste while it’s blending.  Pour all the batches together into one large bowl, and stir it all together and taste for seasoning.
Depending upon how spicy you want it you can use more or less havañero peppers and jalapeño peppers.
This recipe is a guideline- and is a flexible, but great start to making grilled salsa.


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