Posted by: gbdub | April 5, 2010

Flash in the Pan… Chipotle Salsa with Pan-Roasted Tomatillos

So here’s entry #1 in the Bayless series. Salsa de Chipotle con Tomate Verde Asado. A quick, 4 ingredient salsa that, despite it’s simple preparation, is remarkably rich, smoky, and tangy, with just the right amount of medium heat. It’s the essence of Bayless’ Mexican Everyday: undeniably Mexican, delicious, and impressive, but simple, fast, and not at all intimidating to prepare.

I love chipotle salsa. Really, I just love chipotle peppers. I’ll eat them straight from the can. There is something magic that smoking lends to jalepeno peppers as they transform to chipotles: a slower, less sharp burn and a deep, earthy smoke flavor. This salsa showcases the chipotle to perfection by pairing it with tangy tomatillos and always awesome roasted garlic. The real key to this is the quick dry pan-roasting, which gives you nearly all the mellow complexity of flavor of roasting in half the time.

This is good on everything. Apply it liberally.

just 4 things

Ingredients. Yes, there are indeed only four.

Slice the tomatillos in half and toss in a hot, dry skillet over medium-high heat. Throw in the garlic while you’re at it.

When things get nice and brown, flip them over.

When the tomatillos are browned on both sides, and softened throughout, put them in a blender or food processor with the chipotles, a half teaspoon of salt, and a quarter cup of water. I like to add a couple spoonfuls of the canning sauce for extra heat and flavor. Blend it all together…

… and you’re done. Add a bit more salt or some water to thin it a bit if that’s your thing. Otherwise, grab some chips and dig in. It’s also great as a sauce for sauteing, and is of course excellent on tacos, beef, poultry, fish…

Smoky Chipotle Salsa with Pan-Roasted Tomatillos

from Mexican Everyday


  1. 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  2. ½ lb. tomatillos (~4 medium), husked, cleaned, and cut in half
  3. 2-3 canned chipotles in adobo sauce
  4. salt (about ½ tsp.)
  5. water (about ¼ cup)

Place a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place the garlic and tomatillos (cut side down) in the skillet. Toast for about 3-4 minutes, until tomatillos are well browned, then turn over and brown the other side. The garlic may need to be turned a couple extra times (you want it browned, but not burned). When done toasting, the tomatillos should be soft all the way through.

Transfer the garlic and tomatillos to a food processor or blender. Add the chipotles, half a teaspoon of salt, and a couple teaspoons of the adobo canning sauce, if you’d like. Add about quarter cup of water, just enough to keep the blades moving. Process to a coarse puree. Cool and serve.

Makes about 1¼ cups.

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  1. Love this. Made it tonight and it turned out great. Was very easy and delicious.

  2. This salsa is fantastic! We’re having some people over for dinner Friday and I’m making a couple recipes from the site for the occasion. If you have ever had the chopotle salsa at Mendocino Farms that goes with “A Sandwich Study of Heat,” it tastes almost exactly like that. And THAT is incredible.

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