Using the slow cooker allows the flavors of the tomato and chipotle to intensify in this version of cooked salsa.
Our daughter has a really warped concept of snow. She thinks it’s fun. Over the last 306 hours, while she was home on Christmas vacation, it would be a close race for a winner between whether I heard, ‘Mommy, I’m hungry; what can I eat?’, ‘I’m bored, what can I do?’, or ‘I wish it would snow. Is it going to snow?’ the most often.
I’ve made no secret of my dislike of weather that is cold enough to create the white stuff. Before Hubby and I even got engaged he was aware of the line (albeit a non-ultimatum line) that I drew in our relational sand. I would never hold a snow shovel again. Yes, he may have teased me that a blower isn’t a shovel, but he got my point. If we ever were forced by something we couldn’t control and had to move back to the colder climate, I wasn’t dealing with the snow.
Unfortunately, three decades of living in Chicago have left permanent marks. I still own (and love) my Timberlands. I have shelves filled with thick, woolly, wonderful sweaters. We have two wood-burning fireplaces in our house. And, when the calendar comes round to December and January, I pull out my slow cookers.
This past fall, I was very fortunate to win an amazing slow cooker from Kenmore. Remember when that happened? When I saw Better Homes and Gardens’ Slow Cooker Special Interest Issue, I had to grab it. My friends, we are going to spend the month getting cozy, staying warm and using the slow cooker……a lot.
The ingredient list for this is very small small, especially considering that it’s salsa. In fact, most of what you put in this dish is the same that you’d find in basic tomato sauce.
After roasting the tomatoes for a few hours, they get peeled and go back in the cooker, to be joined by the chipotles, oil, onion and salt. Process, add the cilantro and lime juice and salsa’s ready.
If given a choice, I prefer fresh salsa to cooked, mainly because cooked salsa (to me) seems like glorified tomato sauce. Because of the un-chunky consistency, this version even more so. It’s possible to leave it a little chunkier, but not very much so. The length of cooking time reduces everything to mush so it makes sense to just puree away.
With chips I found this to be nothing better than ok. To give it another chance, I created a southwestern scrambled egg wrap and used the salsa as seasoning. Much, much better. The chipotle gives a nice little hit of spice and the lime balances out the smoothness of the avocado.
So, all that to say, I would make and use this as a condiment, but probably not again as salsa.
What I’d Do Different Next Time
I’d add a few cloves of garlic and some chopped green pepper. To me, those things are salsa requirements.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 2 pounds tomatoes (6 medium)
- ½ cup chopped onion (1 medium)
- 1 - 2 tablespoons chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce*
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup snipped fresh cilantro
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- Coat a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Place tomatoes in slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on high-heat setting about 2 hours or until tomato skins split and peel away from flesh. Transfer tomatoes to a plate. When tomatoes are cool enough to handle, use your fingers to peel away and discard tomato skins. Quarter tomatoes and return them to slow cooker. Stir in onion, chipotle peppers, oil, and salt.
- Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2-1/2 to 3 hours or until tomatoes can be easily mashed with a fork.
- Transfer mixture to a nonmetal bowl; cool to room temperature. Mash mixture to desired consistency or puree mixture in a food processor for a smoother texture. Stir in cilantro and lime juice. Serve immediately or cover and chill for up to 2 days.
Subscribe to Better Homes and Gardens Magazine.