Blazing Bobcat Salsa Recipe from Luke Patterson

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Salsa

In July 2011 we featured Central customer and restaurant owner, Luke Patterson on his restaurants Lukes Joint and The Other Place, as well as the food cart called The Other Cart.  This most recent October, Patterson worked with the students at Arcata Elementary School in Arcata, Calif. for the third annual salsa competition.

Be sure to check out Patterson, even if you aren’t in the Arcata area.

Blazing Bobcat Salsa: Arcata Bobcat Grilled Heirloom Tomato Salsa with Smoked Tomatillos, Homemade Chipotle Chilies, Caramelized Mango and Italian Plums

Luke with the Students at the Salsa Competition

Required Ingredients

(Directions Below)
  • 20 oz. Fresh Tomatillos
  • 4 oz. Jalapeno Peppers
  • 40 oz. Mixed Variety Heirloom Tomatoes
  • 32 oz. Fresh Mango (about 2)
  • 16 oz. Italian plums
  • 2 oz. Fresh-Squeezed Lime Juice
  • 1 oz. Cilantro, Minced
  • 4 oz. Caramelized Garlic
  • Grapeseed Oil, as needed

    Luke’s Kitchen at The Other Place

  • Agave Nectar, as needed
  • Kosher Salt, as needed

Special Equipment Required

Yield

Approximately 8 cups

For the Tomatillos

Preheat smoker to 250°F.  Remove husks from tomatillos and wash well.

Gently toss tomatillos with enough grapeseed oil to coat them well.  Add a healthy pinch of kosher salt and toss gently.  Place tomatillos, stem-side down, on a smoker tray and smoke for 30-40 minutes, or until tender.

For the Jalapenos

Preheat smoker to 250°F.  Wash jalapenos very well.

Simultaneously start hardwood charcoal in charcoal starter chimney.  Once fully lit, carefully transfer coals to a small, charcoal grill.

Gently toss jalapenos with enough grapeseed oil to coat them well.  Add a healthy pinch of kosher salt and toss gently.  Place the jalapenos onto a small smoker tray and smoke, 45-60 minutes, or until completely soft.

Transfer smoked jalapenos to medium- to medium-hot grill, turning to completely char the skins, approximately 3-5 minutes total additional cooking time.

For the Heirloom Tomatoes

Remove the top of the tomato with a melon baller or small paring knife.  Cut the tomatoes in half, from top to bottom.  Gently transfer to large bowl.

Gently toss tomatoes with enough grapeseed oil to coat them well.  Add a healthy pinch of kosher salt and stir gently.

When the coals are medium-hot, place the tomatoes onto the grill, cut-side up, and grill 7-10 minutes, or until the tomatoes are softened and the skins are partially blackened.  Quickly and delicately transfer tomatoes to a large bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and set aside.

For the Mangoes

Preheat a convection oven to 375°F and turn fan on.

Peel the mango and remove the flesh.  Discard the peel and heavy stone.

Gently toss the mango pieces with enough agave nectar to coat them with a thin film of syrup.  Add a pinch of kosher salt and stir gently; spread the mango on a prepared non-stick baking sheet and roast for 6-7 minutes.  Gently stir the mangoes and return the pan to the oven for an additional 5-7 minutes, or until the mangoes are caramelized.

For the Italian Plums

Preheat a convection oven to 375°F and turn fan on.

Wash the plums and remove the flesh from the stone in the largest pieces possible.  Discard the stone.

Gently toss the plum pieces with enough agave nectar to coat them with a thin film of syrup.  Add a pinch of kosher salt and stir gently; spread the plums on a prepared non-stick baking sheet and roast for 6-7 minutes.

For the Caramelized Garlic

  • 24 whole cloves garlic
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Whole milk, as needed

Preheat oven to 375°F; if you’re using a convection oven, turn the fan off.

Gently toss whole garlic cloves with enough grapeseed oil to coat them well.  Add the fresh thyme, rosemary, bay leaves and a healthy pinch of kosher salt – stir gently.

Place garlic into shallow roasting pan that holds the garlic in a uniform, single layer.  Pour in enough milk to come halfway up the garlic cloves.

Cover the pan tightly with foil and roast, 30 minutes.  Without removing the foil, gently and carefully toss the contents of the baking pan.  Rotate the pan 180-degrees and return to the oven, 15 minutes.  Remove foil, stir contents gently and return to oven, 10-15 minutes, or until almost all the liquid has evaporated and the garlic is golden brown.

For the Lime Juice

Juice 4-5 limes through a fine strainer into a clean, small bowl.

For the Cilantro

Wash cilantro and mince finely.

To Make the Salsa

Combine the grilled Heirloom tomatoes, smoked tomatillos, roasted garlic, smoked jalapenos (with as many or as few seeds as your heat preference desires),  caramelized mango and tequila-spiked plums in a food processor.  Quickly pulse the mixture to desired consistency, no more than 6-7 pulses.

NOTE: Process in two separate batches if your processor is not large enough to do this in a single batch.

Pour the contents of the food processor into a clean bowl; add the cilantro and fresh lime juice, stirring to combine very well.  Season the salsa with kosher salt, to personal taste.

Serve with crispy corn tortillas.

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