So I have this recipe for a salsa verde that I've never had anywhere else, and since I'm so in love with Mexican culture, Mexican people, and Mexican food and am from California, I feel almost confident that I can say I invented this.
I got into smoking stuff about six years ago, and that started primarily because I currently live in the South and I've gone to some barbecue places where I'm absolutely convinced they don't slow smoke their meat, but slow cook it in an oven or a crockpot or something, then smoke it for a little bit to get that smoke flavor, and that's why their meat's never dried out but still falls off the bone. So I wanted to perfect smoking myself and have some true homemade barbecue.
My father-in-law bought me a smoker for my birthday one year. The obvious thing was to make my own chipotles, but I figured: why stop there? Along with my jalapenos, I smoked an Anaheim chile, a poblano chile, a cubanelle chile, and about six good-sized tomatillos. This is what's needed to make a small batch of salsa, like enough for two soup bowls' worth, or some to go with chips, and some for your tacos or whatever you're having for dinner.
I smoked all this for about an hour, turning everything once. By the time they're done, the chiles are withered and brown and their skin peels easily. The tomatillos have likewise taken on a brown tint and are soft, like stewed tomatoes.
It's worth mentioning that I usually end up smoking with mesquite chips because that's what I can buy readily here at Publix in Atlanta. If I were in CA I'd likely smoke with coast live oak (a variety of red oak, that gives that distinct CA barbecue flavor). But the mesquite's good.
Generally, making salsa's pretty easy, because all you need is a blender or a food processor and into that appliance goes all your smoked chiles (after you've peeled their skins) and the tomatillos. Add to this a white onion, three garlic cloves, and half a batch (about a cup and a half) of picked cilantro. Blend. The salsa should be thick and slightly chunky, but you can blend it to your desired consistency. Add salt and lime juice to taste. I usually add a lot of lime and lime zest, and try to limit the salt.
The smoked flavor makes this spicy salsa verde distinct, and some guests to parties or dinners have become addicted to it.
So, I've been writing all this stuff that's been appearing at places like The Nervous Breakdown and Thought Catalog and The Rumpus and I haven't been keeping up with the links to my pubs here on this page. But, if anyone would like to read those things, here are the links now. Maybe one day I'll get around to fixing the links in the list, too.