Absolute magic on grilled meats and fish
2 pounds (about 6 medium) ripe tomatoes, halved and seeded
1 cup minced sweet white onion
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, or more to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 minced chipotle from canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce or more to taste
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro (optional; see note)
1. Preheat a grill, broiler, or ridged grill pan. Place the tomatoes on an oiled grill rack over glowing coals, on a broiler pan, or on a ridged grill pan over high heat. Grill or broil (broil as close to the heat as possible), turning as necessary, until skins are blackened in spots and slightly softened, about 5 minutes on each side (slightly less time in the broiler). Remove.
2. When tomatoes are cool enough to handle, coarsely chop them, place in a bowl, and stir in remaining ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Note: Using the cilantro adds a familiar Mexican note, and not an unwelcome one. But it will lessen the impact of the smoked chili flavor in the salsa. Your move.
In the language of the Aztecs, chil refers to chili and pochilli to smoke; what we know as a chipotle is a smoked chili, most often a jalapeño. It was the Aztecs who first began to smoke chilies; theirs was a humid climate, and the skins of many of their chilies were thick and very difficult to dry without fire and smoke. How fortuitous for the rest of us! Chipotles have a complexity that goes beyond fire and smoke; they can have hints of spices, chocolate, caramel, and even fruit. Chipotles always have a pronounced effect on other foods; they can really grab your attention in a salsa. This fabulous one is like a cold, chunky tomato sauce with a haunting difference. It is absolute magic on grilled meats and fish. If you'd like it thicker, simply strain out some of the liquid. Makes about 2 cups