After 10 years in Dallas, I was spoiled by the abundance and the variety of flavorful, smoking-hot salsa available in authentic Mexican restaurants. Atlanta offers a smorgasbord of decadent southern fare – but it’s hard to find the fresh salsa I love. Once the sizzle of jalapenos is in the bloodstream, it becomes kryptonite!!! Most of the supermarket varieties (and I’ve run the gamut here) are a little too sweet, & some are gooey, from the preservatives. Understandably, the local bodegas and Tex-Mex spots target the milder palate. But some LOVE it hot – and for those who do, I’ve developed this homemade, oven-roasted concoction. Lime, smoke, garlic, cilantro and sugar help to “balance” the peppers and bring out the other intense flavors. There are several levels of heat in this blend. Most of the heat comes from the chipotles – so it’s best to start with half a can and “build” the heat to your own personal liking. These proportions yield about 7 cups of salsa…a full blender. It stores well in the refrigerator for over a week…but usually doesn’t last that long around here!!!
Roast the first 5 ingredients in a large shallow pan at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Then combine all ingredients in blender and pulse on high for about 5 minutes. This is great warm or cold, and stores in the fridge for up to a week.
(If you’re pressed for time, substitute 2 cans of tomatoes with green chiles for the fresh tomatoes…but this does compromise the flavor a bit.)