Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fire Roasted Tomatoes

My San Antonio grandmother used to make a fresh batch of salsa for each meal. She'd stab a tomato onto a fork and hold it over the flames of her gas stove until the skin began blackening and curling away from the fruit. Then she mashed it in a mocajete, also called a mortar and pestle, with salt, spices, and chiles, and that would be a meal's worth of salsa.

I don't know anyone anymore who makes fresh salsa for each meal, although I'm sure there are still some who do (note to those who do: when's dinner?). But a quick roast on the grill or under the broiler adds an amazing flavor boost to canned tomatoes, sauces, and salsas.

Here's how:

First wash and remove stems. Then pop tomatoes on the grill or under a very hot broiler. After the tops turn crisp and brown (about 5 or six minutes), turn over and brown the other sides.

Let cool, then remove cores and most of the skin, leaving behind a bit of the browned skin. Now continue with canning or salsa/sauce making.

This batch is going into some canned salsa.


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  2. I DO make fresh salsa, but certainly not for every meal! When tomatoes aren't in season, I use canned, diced tomatoes. My family prefers my homemade, but will eat the cheap Pace from Costco for snacking. I am definitely going to try your tip of roasting the tomatoes first.
    I have made oven roasted tomatoes, but roast them till they are quite reduced in size. An intense tomato flavor...yum! I then freeze them in small ziplocs for use during the winter.