Ahh, the heat of summer. If you live near a body of water like me, that heat is exacerbated by humidity. Oh sure, there are lots of ways to shake off the oppressive weight of the water in the air — jump in the lake/pond/pool, confine yourself to an air-conditioned home/office, sit under the sprinkler. I’m sure you can come up with myriad ways of achieving the same goal.
But, at some point, you’re going to have to eat. I realize that writing about heat and humidity followed by eating seems like quite the leap in logic. Well, bear with me here. No one wants to move too much in 30°C weather, let alone cook. So, don’t. One of the most refreshing meals on these sweltering hot days is salsa. Ok, so salsa, itself, doesn’t make a meal. Add a few other components, like sliced avocado, tortillas, grilled steak or chicken for a relaxing, filling and cool meal. Don’t feel like heating up the grill? Well, do you have any leftovers in the fridge? Cans of beans, tuna or shrimp in the pantry? See where I’m going here? With a few basic staples, you can bring together a really scrumptious meal that won’t require very much exertion at all.
Here’s a cool salsa recipe to get you started.
Guajillo Chile Salsa
Makes 2-1/4 cups
Adapted from Reed Hearon’s Salsa, a little book full of authentic, delicious and easy recipes. If it’s just too hot to pan roast the ingredients, add them in as is. The salsa will still taste great.
4 guajillo or chipotle chilies
1 tomato, pan-roasted until blistered, black and soft
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (optional)
3 garlic cloves, pan-roasted until brown and soft, then peeled
1/2 tsp dried Mexican oregano, toasted
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp orange zest, grated
1 cup water
1/2 cup white onion, chopped
In a heavy pan set over medium heat, toast chiles until brown and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Cool slightly, slit open and remove seeds and veins.
Put chilies and remaining ingredients in a blender. Process at high speed until you have a slightly textured liquid.
Enjoy with a cold beer.