Chipotle Chile Salsa
3 dried chipotle chiles or canned chipotles in adobo sauce
processor along with about 1/4 cup of the
reserved liquid. If you use canned chiles, scrape off some of the adobo sauce
and put the chiles in a blender or food processor.
2 cloves garlic, unpeeled, roasted (see note)
2 ripe tomatoes, about 3/4 pound, roasted (see note)
Sea salt to taste
If you use dried chiles, simmer them in salted water to cover until softened,
about 10-15 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid, and place the chiles in a
blender or food
Peel the charred skin from the garlic and add the garlic to the blender along
with the tomatoes. Process very briefly. The mixture should be thick and
Pour the salsa into a bowl, season with salt, cover and let the flavor meld
for 20-30 minutes before serving.
Makes about 1 cup; analysis per 1 tablespoon.
Cook's note: To roast the garlic, heat a
griddle or skillet over medium heat. Add the unpeeled garlic cloves and roast,
turning them frequently until they soften and their skins blacken, about 10
minutes. Let them cool before peeling.
To roast the tomatoes, line a heavy skillet or griddle with heavy-duty foil
(to catch the juices) and heat the pan over medium heat. Add the tomatoes and
roast, turning occasionally, until the skins are blistered and begin to blacken
and the interiors soften and begins to ooze. Carefully trim off only the most
blackened parts of the skin before using.
Shredded Beef Tacos
1 lb. boneless beef chuck
1 cup water
1 garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 California chile or 1 poblano chile, roasted and peeled OR 1 canned whole
2 small tomatoes, peeled and chopped (1/2 lb.)
1/4 t. ground cumin
Freshly ground pepper
6 to 8 corn tortillas
juice of 1/2 lime
1 onion, chopped
Cilantro leaves, chopped
Place meat in a large saucepan. Add water, peppercorns, onion and salt to taste.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until meat is very tender, about
1-1/2 hours. Cool meat in broth. Drain, reserving 1/3 cup broth. Shred meat with
2 forks. Set aside.
Mash garlic with 1/4 teaspoon salt to make a paste. Heat oil in a large skillet.
Add chopped onion and garlic paste. Cook until onion is tender. Cut chile into
short strips. Add chile strips and tomatoes to cooked onion. Cook 3 to 4
minutes. Add meat, cumin and freshly ground pepper to taste. Cook and stir until
meat is heated through. Stir in reserved broth. Taste and add salt if needed.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Wrap tortillas in foil and place in oven until softened,
about 15 minutes.
Prepare salsa if making fresh. Mash avocado in a small bowl. Stir in lime juice
and salt to taste. Beat until smooth. Place avocado mixture, onion, cilantro and
salsa in separate bowls and set aside.
For each taco, place spoonful of shredded beef on a warm tortilla. Top with
avocado mixture, onion, cilantro and salsa to taste. Fold tortilla around
filling. Serve immediately.