The Cook's Illustrated Cookbook

The Cook's Illustrated Cookbook by The Editors at America's Test Kitchen Read Free Book Online

Book: The Cook's Illustrated Cookbook by The Editors at America's Test Kitchen Read Free Book Online
Authors: The Editors at America's Test Kitchen
Tags: Cooking
pieces that lay flat on a sheet pan. After 10 minutes, the peppers were done and we could easily peel off the blistered skin. For our dip, we adapted a recipe for a sweet and spicy Middle Eastern–style dip by combining our roasted peppers with jalapeño and tangy pomegranate molasses.

    For more information on preparing the bell peppers for roasting, CLICK HERE . Look for pomegranate molasses in Middle Eastern markets or the international foods aisle of supermarkets. If you cannot find it, 2 tablespoons of molasses combined with 2 tablespoons of lime juice can be substituted for the pomegranate molasses. Serve with grilled or toasted pita bread.
red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, ribs removed, and cut to lie flat
tablespoons olive oil
small onion, chopped coarse
¹⁄ 2
jalapeño chile or other hot red or green fresh chile, minced
tablespoon ground cumin
small garlic clove, minced
¹⁄ 4
cup chopped fresh parsley
¹⁄ 4
cup pomegranate molasses
Salt and pepper
    1. Adjust oven rack 2¹⁄ 2 to 3¹⁄ 2 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. If necessary, set upside-down rimmed baking sheet on oven rack to elevate pan.
    2. Spread peppers out over aluminum foil–lined baking sheet and broil until skin is charred and puffed but flesh is still firm, 8 to 10 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through cooking.
    3. Transfer peppers to medium bowl, cover with foil, and let steam until skin peels off easily, 10 to 15 minutes. Peel and discard skin; set peppers aside.
    4. Heat oil in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add chile, cumin, and garlic; sauté until garlic softens, about 1 minute longer.
    5. Transfer mixture to food processor. Add peppers, parsley, and pomegranate molasses; process until very smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to bowl and serve. (Dip can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.)

    Even at the peak of tomato season, fresh tomato salsas can be inconsistent and less than stellar. Complicating matters, salsa’s popularity has opened the door to versions employing extravagant and extraneous ingredients. We wanted a fresh, chunky salsa cruda that would emphasize the tomatoes. To solve the problem of watery salsa, we drained diced tomatoes in a colander. This put all tomatoes, regardless of origin, ripeness, or juiciness, on a level—and dry—playing field. Red onions were preferred over other varieties for color and flavor. Jalapeño chiles beat out the alternatives because of their wide availability, slight vegetal flavor, and moderate heat. Lime juice tasted more authentic (and better) than red wine vinegar, rice vinegar, or lemon juice. We investigated the best way to combine the ingredients and rejected all but the simplest technique: We layered each ingredient (chopped) on top of the tomatoes while they drained in the colander. Once the tomatoes were ready, it all just needed a few stirs before being finished with the lime juice, sugar, and salt.

    For more heat, include the jalapeño seeds and ribs when mincing. The amount of sugar and lime juice to use depends on the ripeness of the tomatoes. The salsa can be made 2 to 3 hours in advance, but hold off adding the lime juice, salt, and sugar until just before serving. This salsa is perfect for tortilla chips, but it’s also a nice accompaniment to grilled steaks, chicken, and fish.
1¹⁄ 2
pounds tomatoes, cut into ¹⁄ 2 -inch dice
¹⁄ 2
cup finely chopped red onion
¹⁄ 4
cup chopped fresh cilantro
large jalapeño chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
small garlic clove, minced
teaspoons lime juice (1 to 2 limes)
¹⁄ 2
teaspoon salt
Pinch pepper
    1. Set large colander in large bowl. Place tomatoes in colander and let drain 30 minutes. As tomatoes drain, layer onion, cilantro, jalapeño, and garlic on top.

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