The wonder that is Chipotle took it’s sweet time getting to the PNW. I remember when I first heard about it from friends who grew up in the Midwest, and I didn’t understand how they could be so obsessed with a single burrito shop. I actually had a guy friend take me directly to the Chipotle in the Seattle U-District without missing a turn, although he had only been there once before, was drunk as a skunk when he was. When a Chipotle finally opened in my neck of the woods, a good friend of mine and her husband immediately drug Jack and I there to it.
It. Was. Amazing.
Finally, I understood what all the fuss was about. The food tasted fresh and delicious, spicy and packed full of flavor. Nothing had the plastic taste you get from eating that has been cooked, frozen and flash-fried. Suddenly the usual Mexican fast food just wasn’t going to cut it. One of my favorite parts of the Chipotle experience is their delicious corn salsa. For me, it’s what really makes the food the best. I’ve been craving it like crazy lately, but sadly for me, both the cost of frequent eating-out trips (not to mention the gas for the 30 mile round-trip) isn’t in my budget. Luckily for me however, many have gone before on this Chipotle-less path, and have found easy to make at home versions of many Chipotle favorites.
After some research, I settled on a recipe. None of the ingredients were extremely foreign or hard to find. I did buy my corn frozen (organic, though!) has corn season won’t come to these parts for several more months. I found both jalapeno’s and poblano peppers, as well as my red onion, at my local spot, Spud’s. I cooked the corn according to the packaging, then drained it in a colander over a dish towel while I roasted my pablano’s in the oven. **Editors note: I also roasted my jalapenos. Only after I had done so did I realize the recipe called for fresh jalapenos. The salsa still tastes great, but next time I will not roast them! I didn’t feel like breaking out the BBQ just to roast some peppers, so I went ahead and just broiled them in my oven. This is accomplished easily enough; by cutting the peppers in half, de-seeding and cleaning them, then lightly spraying them with oil and placing them on an aluminum foil lined pie pan in a pre-heated broiling oven. After about 30 minutes, the skins had started to blacken, so I pulled them out and placed them in a Ziploc bag to cool. 15 minutes later, they were cool enough to peel without giving myself 2nd degree burns, and the skins came off cleanly.
In a medium mixing bowl, I combined the cooked corn, hot diced roasted poblanos, jalapenos, a quarter of a diced red onion and 2 disks of my frozen cilantro in oil. After giving everything a mix, I added a dash of lime juice and a pinch of salt and pepper until the taste was how I like it. I let it sit for a few hours covered in the fridge to let the flavors mingle and I’m glad I did, in short it was great! We had more then enough to eat as we wanted, I used some for breakfast burritos (recipe to come) and even had enough to freeze for later. I give this recipe a 10, and will very surely make this again.
Copycat Chipotle Salsa
Adapted from Em Malik’s Kitchen
- 1 lb bag of frozen corn, cooked
- 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro (or 2 disks of cilantro in oil)
- 1 jalapeno, cleaned and diced
- 1 roast poblano pepper, diced
- 1/4-1/2 red onion, diced (to taste)
- salt and pepper
- lime juice
Cook corn according to directions, drain in colander Roast de-seeded poblanos in oven under broiler setting until skin blackens. Remove and place in sealed Ziploc bag for 15 minutes, after 15 minutes remove skin and dice. Add all ingredients except lime juice, salt and pepper into a mixing bowl and toss well to mix. Add lime juice, salt and pepper to taste. Store up to 3 days covered tightly in refrigerator or freeze for later use.