March 17, 2011

Fire Roasted Salsa

I'm very excited to be the winner of this beautiful molcajete in a blog giveaway! Thank you Mely! Mely has a wonderful blog, Mexico in My Kitchen, where she posts mouth-watering recipes for authentic Mexican food. If you haven't seen Mely's blog yet, go take a look. You'll find all sorts of great food!
A molcajete is a bowl carved in one piece by hand from volcanic stone and is used to make salsa, guacamole and other condiments. The molcajete was too heavy to weigh on my kitchen scale, but it's very heavy! The tejolote, which is the round hand held grinder weighed in at 1 pound, 5 ounces! Before using a new molcajete, it must be seasoned. This is done by grinding white rice until it becomes a gray powder, having picked up some of the volcanic rock in the process. This is repeated until the rice powder remains white. This ensures that when you make salsa, it will be grit free.  Here's an interesting video that shows how these beauties are made:

Let's make salsa! I roasted onion, serrano chiles, garlic, tomatillos and tomatoes on a comal, which is simply a round cast iron griddle.
I coarsely chopped the vegetables, then put them in the molcajete in batches and ground them. 
When the vegetables were the consistency I wanted, I put the batch into a bowl and continued until everything had been ground.
This was very good salsa with a chunky consistency that I love. I didn't put cilantro in this because my gardener has the anti-cilantro gene. When I want salsa, I chop up enough cilantro and add it to my own bowl. Of course, if you don't have a molcajete, this salsa can be made using a food processor or blender.

Fire Roasted Salsa
3 Roma tomatoes, seeded
3 Serrano chiles, split and seeded
1 onion, thickly sliced
3 tomatillos, halved
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp salt
Cilantro to taste

Dry roast vegetables on a cast iron pan. Coarsely chop all vegetables and transfer to a molcajete in batches until all vegetables have been processed to the desired consistency (see note).  Add lemon juice, salt and cilantro. Chill and serve with tortilla chips or over food as a condiment.

Note: Alternately, vegetables can be transferred to a food processor and pulsed until the desired consistency has been reached.

I'm linking up to:

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special


  1. This looks delicious. My husband has that same gene. He finds cilantro to have a soap taste. Too bad. I sometimes add to my salsa separately.


  2. Karen, what a wonderful prize!!! Enjoy. It will simply look beautiful in your kitchen!!!

  3. yumm! i love my molcajete, its great!

  4. Karen, I have seen these but had no idea how to use one or even where to begin. This was so much fun to learn all of this. And the salsa, I wish I had smellovision!

  5. Such a beautiful molcajete! And the salsa...oh my. Love it...and love my cilantro, too =)

  6. Love this post - your photos are perfect! I'm going to keep an eye out for one of these toys . . . what a great thing to have in the kitchen. I'm excited too, about dry roasting the comal. Sounds easy and that's right up my alley. ;)

  7. What a wonderful prize, my dear Karen, congratulations!!

    Kisses and blessings and have a good wekend!

  8. I wish I had smellovision too! I've always wanted one of these, but... ????
    Lucky you. Rich doesn't have the cilantro gene either. It kind of drives me crazy at times.

  9. If I had a molcajete as pretty as that, I'd be making salsa all day every day. I love this fire roasted version! I could eat it with a spoon.

  10. Great pictures Karen and super good looking salsa.

    Thanks for linking to my blog.

    Have fun!


  11. :) Passing on the Stylish Blog Award to You!!!

  12. Delicious looking salsa Karen; I'd probably make myself sick I'd eat so much of it!
    What a great prize to win and I throughly enjoyed the information about it.

  13. Very cool!
    I added her blog to my favorites. I love Mexican food. It will be fun to go through the recipes.

  14. I love salsa!!!This recipe sounds fantastic,Karen!

  15. Very cook win..although I would never be able to pronounce it :) The salsa sounds fab!


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