I figure I’ll begin this post with a recap, as this is the second in a group of three posts. Top Chef: Masters drew to a close last week and even though Rick Bayless was crowned the champion, I wanted to honor all three chefs that made it to the finals. I have already tackled Quinoa Pasta with Salsa Verde from Michael Chiarello, which you can see here, so today we take on the winner himself, Mr. Rick Bayless.
Instead of making one of the dishes that was shown on the show, I was in the mood for salsa and thought I would rather make two items from his book, Salsas that Cook: “Roasted Jalapeño-Tomato Salsa with Fresh Cilantro” and “Salsa-Baked Goat Cheese.” Check out both final products:
In the mood for salsa now and ready to get started? I bet you are! First we’ll start with the salsa, mainly because it is an ingredient in the “Salsa-Baked Goat Cheese.”
- 1 1/2 lbs Plum Tomatoes
- 2 to 3 Jalapeños, stemmed (not seeded)
- Half of a small White Onion (1/4″ wide rings)
- 4 Garlic Cloves, peeled
- 1/4 c Water (opt)
- 1/3 c Cilantro, (fresh, chopped and loosely packed)
- 1 tsp Salt (more for taste)
- 1 1/2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- Heat your oven’s broiler to its highest setting (usually “Broil”).
- Place all of your tomatoes and jalapeños out on a baking sheet, then place it on your oven’s highest rack.
- Broil for 6 minutes, then flip (careful! Use tongs). The skins should be wrinked and possibly burnt in spots. This is a good thing.
- Set aside cooked peppers and tomatoes to cool, then turn the oven down to 425°F.
- Place the onion rings and garlic onto another baking sheet and place in the oven for another 15 minutes (check on it every 5 min or so).
- When the onions are soft and browned around the edges, take the pan out to cool.
- Once the tomatoes are cooled, skin and “core” them (peel the skin off, then pop off the hard bit where the stem used to be).
- Place the jalapeños, onion and garlic in your food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
- Scrape out mixture and reserve.
- Place tomatoes (and juice from the pan) in the same food processor (don’t wash or wipe it down after the onions) and coarsely chop them.
- Add tomatoes to onion mixture and stir.
- Add vinegar and salt to taste.
- If the salsa is too thick, add water to get to the proper consistency.
- Eat… or store in the fridge (covered) for about a week.
That’s it! Here are some “action shots” of the roasted veggies (those “weird” tomatoes are actually black plums, they are greenish on the inside):
Yeah, the photos aren’t the best as my camera is in the shop and I’m using my “loaner.” Anyway, now you have about 2 1/2 cups of salsa… let’s use about a cup and make ourselves a nice “queso” dip of sorts. Now it is time for part two: “Salsa-Baked Goat Cheese!”
- 1/4 c Pine Nuts (walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped will do in a pinch)
- 4 oz Goat Cheese (I suggest plain chevre)
- 3 oz Cream Cheese, softened (Quark would work well, I went with a Sheep’s Brie)
- 1 c Roasted Jalapeño-Tomato Salsa
- 1 Tbs Cilantro, finely chopped
- Heat the oven to 425°F.
- Spread out the pine nuts on another baking sheet and toast them in the oven until a nice light brown (don’t let them burn!). Should take about 7 minutes or so.
- Remove and place in a bowl (keep your oven on).
- Add all your cheeses to the nuts and stir until well combined.
- Get a baking dish (I used a glass pie pan) and place your cheese in the center.
- Spoon the salsa all around (and over) the cheese.
- Put the dish in the oven and bake about 15 minutes.
- Take out, sprinkle with cilantro, and attempt to not eat it all in one sitting.
- Be happy!
Hope you liked these recipes, I know I did. I will say, I will most likely stop buying salsa from the store as this was pretty easy to make and darn tasty. The cheese also works great as a “queso dip” of sorts (just mix it all together). Very good stuff. For those wanting a more “fresh” Salsa, be sure and check out my “Salsa Fresca” post!