If there’s anything more aggravating than not winning a dime in the Superbowl pool, it’s losing to punks whose parents had bought them the squares. But I had my moment. I won the salsa contest. First I was presented with some faux bling-on-a-rope that had all the caché of a Chuck E. Cheese’s Birthday Star medallion. But then the hostess whipped out a gift card: fifty dollars for Karl Strauss Brewery! And I would’ve been happy with the leftover seven layer dip.
I got my salsa recipe from Chow magazine, and I’ve been basking in accolades ever since. The writer, Helena Echlin and her husband reverse engineered the salsa from SF’s Papalote Mexican Grill when the restaurant refused to give them the recipe. The result packs a mouthwatering vinegar tang and smoky-sweet full bodied pasilla punch with a subtle creaminess from the roasted pumpkin seeds.
I’m giving you the recipe provided you steer clear of the salsa contest at a certain Superbowl XLVI Party.
Perfect Salsa (courtesy of Chow Magazine)
(Galley Girl notes: I always double it and always let it chill overnight.)
5 roma tomatoes
10 dried chiles de arbol, stemmed, halved and seeded
2 teaspoons ground dried pasilla peppers
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons shelled pumpkin seeds
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1/4 c. minced green onions
1/4 c chopped cilantro
1. Preheat broiler. Place the tomatoes skin side up on a baking sheet. When the broiler is hot, char the tomatoes until the skins are slightly burned.
2. Remove the tomatoes from oven and place them in a stainless steel pot. Add the chiles de arbol, pasilla, salt, sugar and 1 1/2 water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring often.
3. While the tomato mixture is cooking, turn oven to 350 and toast the pumpkin seeds until just browned. Remove the seeds from tray and cool.
4. After 20 minutes, add the white vinegar to the tomato mixture and cook for 1 minute. Add the toasted pumpkin seeds. Place the mixture in a blender and blend til smooth.
5. Pour salsa into a container and stir in the green onions and cilantro. Refrigerate for several hours before serving.
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