Fire-Roasted Tomato-Chipotle Salsa

Morita chiles are red, fully mature Chipotles. This gives them a unique, medium – hot smokey flavor which is popular in many Southwestern dishes. These can be added to sauces (including Mole) to add smokey flavor and maintain the red color of the sauces. These peppers are about 2-4 inches in length, 1 inch in width, and have a deep brick reddish brown color. The word Chipotle translated to smoked chile. Consider the Chipotle a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the hottest). Scoville heat units 7,000-25,000.

Suggested Use:
Use Morita in enchilada sauces, chili, stews, barbecue ribs, and corn bread. Their smoky quality combines well with poultry, meats and fall squash.

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1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, peeled and chopped
2 pounds Roma tomatoes, blackened
4 tsp. finely minced roasted garlic
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
4 chiles en adobo, chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat until smoking, add the onion and saute until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Transfer the onion, half the blackened tomatoes and garlic to a food processor or blender and pulse until finely chopped but not pureed. Add the cilantro and chipotle chiles, and pulse again to mix.

Peel seed and chop the remaining pound of tomatoes and fold in together with the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil, vinegar, salt and sugar.

An all-purpose salsa: especially good with tortilla chips and red meats.

Recipe by Mark Miller.