Posted by Dough Monkey on Jun 08, 2011
My wife had been talking about the Fresno Chile Festival for several days and had asked me to come up with a salsa to enter into the salsa contest (she claimed I make better salsa). I promptly forgot about it. The other day while we were out running errands she stopped at Whole Foods for a few things. When we got in she reminded me of my promise by telling me to get the ingredients I needed for the salsa and left me in the produce section to get the other things she needed. Needless to say, while I ended up with everything I needed I ended up with things I didn't, like a huge Daikon radish. Any suggestions :)
250g (3 medium) tomatoes finely diced
425g (3 ears) husk roasted corn removed from cob
55g (5 good sized chiles) fire roasted Fresno chiles finely minced
110g (one small onion) white onion finely diced
5g (about 2 Tbs) fresh cilantro finely minced
2oz (4 Tbs) fresh lime juice
Equipment you will need: A sharp chef's knife, a sharp pairing knife, 2 large bowls, a wooden spoon, a kitchen scale that reads in grams (recommended but not essential), a long handled meat fork, a brown paper lunch/wine bottle bag, a reamer or fork for juicing the limes, a gas burner (though a blow torch will do in a pinch), and a BBQ or grill.
First things first, take your corn and peel back the husk, but DO NOT remove it. Clean the silk off the ear and then pull the husk back up over the ear. The husk will look funny and not cover all of the ear but thats OK. Place your corn in a sink with a stopper (or a bucket or large bowl) and cover with cold water, you will need a heavy bowl or pot to keep the corn submerged as it will want to float. Allow your corn to soak for about an hour.
While your corn is soaking, take your Fresno chiles and one at a time stick them onto the meat fork stem towards handle. Use the gas burner (or blow torch) to blacken the skin all over the chile, you really want to burn the skin black. As you finish blackening each chile drop it in the brown paper bag and fold the top down.
Leave the chiles to cool in the bag as you dice or mince (refer to ingredients list) your other ingredients, you want all of the diced ingredients to be smaller than any one kernel of corn.
When all of your cut ingredients are in the salsa bowl peel the blackened chiles with the paring knife and rinse under cold water to remove any ash or skin flakes. Top them and peel any residual skin off the shoulder of the chile. Mince the chiles seeds and all and add to your salsa bowl.
To roast your corn get your BBQ or grill good and hot, drain/shake as much of the water off the corn as you can then put it on the grill. Turn every few minutes making sure that the husk blackens and smokes. The exposed kernels will burn a little but you want this. The corn is done when the outer husks are burnt and ashy and the corn kernels are tender (15 minutes or so). Remove from grill and allow to cool for a few minutes. As soon as the ears are cool enough to handle remove the husks and stem trying to get as little ash on the corn as possible. If the corn is very ashy or still to hot to handle you can run it under a little cold water. Slice the kernels from the cob and use the spine of your knife to scrape the cob to get all the corn off that you can. As you put the corn into the salsa bowl break up the big chunks of corn that didn't separate as they came off the cob. Mix the corn in to the other ingredients, sieve the seeds out of the lime juice and mix in.
This salsa can be served directly or made ahead and chilled. Serve with tortilla chips as an appetizer or as an accompaniment to any dish you like.