About This Blog

This is, as the title indicates, my kitchen notebook (the header is actually a scanned image of the cover of a notebook that I started using about 25 years ago and the background is a stained page from that book). I am not a professional recipe writer. If you try any recipe here, please keep that in mind, these recipes have not been tested by an independent tester. The "recipes" are often not even really recipes but rather a list of ingredients that I've noted after preparing a dish on the fly that I thought came out well. Perhaps I've also added some instructions, but I rarely keep accurate track of what I've done in terms of time or temperature, I've just noted to the best of my memory (feeble) what I did.

Please feel free to take some inspiration from here, but on the other hand, please give credit where it is due. I also welcome any constructive comments that you might have if you are inspired to try a recipe. Questions are welcome, but keep in mind that I may not remember specifics. The dishes do evolve over time...

Thank you and enjoy!

Charred Tomato Salsa

3 fresh green New Mexico type chiles, OR 3 dried Ancho chiles
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 pound sweet onions, peeled, trimmed and cut crosswise into 3 thick slices
4 serrano or other hot chiles (optional)
2 pounds ripe tomatoes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
sugar if needed, to taste

Sriracha sauce if the hot chile were omitted (optional)

Heat a griddle or large cast iron skillet over medium heat.

If using the fresh chiles, blacken them over an open flame or under a broiler, place in a bowl and cover. Set them aside while preparing the rest of the ingredients. Before putting the salsa together, remove the blackened skins, the cores, and the seeds.

If using the dried chiles, cut them open so that they can lay flat and remove the core and seeds. Press them with a large spatula for just a few seconds on the hot griddle to toast them lightly, don't allow them to blacken. Place in a bowl and cover with very hot water, weight them down to keep them submerged. Set aside while preparing the rest of the ingredients. Once the flesh of the chiles has softened, scrape it off the skin and set it aside. Don't try to get every bit of flesh off the skin (impossible) and don't worry about little bits of skin that star with the flesh. If it seems a bit chunky plop it onto your cutting board and mince it into a puree.

Place the garlic, onion, and hot chiles on the griddle, no greasing is required. Cook, turning a few times, until everything is softened and has nice brown spots. Set aside to cool. Remove the stems and the cores and seeds from the chiles.

While the garlic, onion, and hot chiles are browning, char the tomatoes over an open flame or under a broiler until the skin becomes blackened. It's not necessary to blacken the entire tomato and it will not be cooked completely through. Set the tomatoes aside.

To put the salsa together you can mince the garlic, and chop the green chiles (if using), onion, and tomatoes, and mix everything together. OR you can use a food processor. To process the salsa, first mince the garlic and a couple of the hot chiles by dropping them through the feed tube into the processor while it is running, then add the green chiles or ancho chile puree, the onions, and the tomatoes and pulse to a desired consistency (I like mine a little chunky). Put into a mixing bowl and mix in the rest of the ingredients. I recommend putting in half of the hot chiles and tasting and adding more minced hot chile to taste. Taste to see if it needs a little bit of sugar.

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