Shhh! This is Chris from NibbleMeThis. Grill Grrrl (aka Robyn) is out this week and I thought I’d let myself in and mess around in her outdoor kitchen. I heard she’s got some cold Dos Equis in the fridge. Let’s have a few and grill something to eat. Let’s be honest. Sometimes we put so much focus on the main course that we tend to “mail in” the side dishes or condiments. For example, if you are grilling chicken fajitas, it is easy to just pop open a jar of salsa verde as a condiment. But if you really want to boost the flavor of your condiments, let’s fire up the grill! While you are marinating the chicken in the fajita marinade and you’re already preheating the grill anyway, make this smoky salsa!
Fire Roasted Salsa Verde Source: Adapted from Steven Raichlen’s Planet Barbecue!
1 lb tomatillos, husks removed
1 ea Serrano pepper
1 ea jalapeno pepper
1 ea Anaheim pepper
1 large onion, peeled and sliced into thirds
3 cloves garlic, peeled and skewered together with a toothpick
½ cup cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp bacon fat
3 ounces chicken stock
½ teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Get your grill cooking at about 450f. Place the peppers and tomatillos on and sear them until all sides are blackened. This should take a few minutes per side. Remove and place them into a plastic bag for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, grill the onion and garlic until browned (about 4 minutes a side for the onion, 1-2 for the garlic) and remove from heat. Skin, seed, and dice the peppers. Skin and quarter the tomatillos. Don’t be super picky about getting all the charred skin off, you want a little in there for flavor. Quarter the grilled onions. Place them all in a food processer and pulse them until you get a salsa like texture. Heat the bacon fat over medium high heat and then add the tomatillo mixture for 3-5 minutes. You’ll get some thick “pops” as the thick liquid heats but keep stirring. Mix in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, letting the flavors get happy together. Season with salt and pepper to your taste. The difference between jarred salsa verde (left) and fire roasted salsa verde (right) is striking. [INSERT PICTURE 429]
The texture is obviously thicker but the rich smoky flavor it brings is even more impressive. It rocks its way through the fajita, filling out the dish.
It is one of those things that you don’t notice if it wasn’t there, but once it IS there, it is a huge addition to the flavor profile. Now let’s clean up this mess before Robyn gets back.
Note: Chris is a wonderful cook, griller, photographer and Big Green Egg enthusiast. Check out his blog at www.nibblemethis.com