Back in high school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, my little brother Michael and I would race home to the kitchen impatient and ravenous for sustenance. For me, I needed to calm the storm of angst and hormones feverishly brewing inside. For Michael, to refuel the enormous man-boy body he possessed by age 14.
We got smart when it came to quick remedies for the gnawing hunger always keeping the essentials on hand to make one of our favorite mainstays: quesadillas and chunky salsa. But we didn’t crack open just any old jar of watery Tostino’s- oh no, we considered ourselves fancy connoisseurs of “the finer salsas” of life. We would grab a big bowl and empty the contents of one can of fancy salsa, one can of black or pinto beans, one can of corn, and seasoned the mix with fresh lime, cilantro, and cumin to brighten it up a bit. YUM. It never failed us. Chunky, satisfying, and hearty: we’d forage through bowls of it with thick blue corn tortilla chips and pile it on freshly grilled quesadillas. The amount that boy could consume was truly, truly amazing…
But those times are ones that I will cherish forever. We became friends in the kitchen- talking about life and the ladies and whatever else was on our plates. It was in the kitchen where we once made the pact to “Never Be Normal” and shook on it. Was our salsa “normal?” Au contraire! It was simply revolutionary! (Or at least that’s what we thought.) So this recipe for homemade Chipotle Black Bean Salsa is an ode to you, my dear brother.
I hope you all enjoy this simple, brilliantly satisfying, and very “un-normal” salsa and healthy baked tortilla chips.
Chipotle Black Bean Salsa
10 Ripe Roma Tomatoes
1 Cup Cooked Black Beans
2 Canned Chipotle Peppers
1 Teaspoon Adobo Sauce (from pepper can)
½ White Onion
1 Serrano Chile Pepper (2 if you like it hot)
¼ Cup Finely Chopped Cilantro
2 Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice
1 Teaspoon Olive Oil
Salt to Taste
Baked Tortilla Chips
1 Package White or Yellow Corn Tortillas
Fresh Lime Juice
For the salsa, first place tomatoes and serrano chiles in a pot and cover with water. Bring water to a simmer and cook tomatoes until the skin starts to peel away. Once tomatoes are sufficiently blanched, strain water and set aside to cool.
While the tomatoes and chiles simmer away, finely chop onion, chipotles, garlic, and cilantro. Juice your limes. Remove peels from tomatoes and place all ingredients (minus beans) in mortar and pestle or food processor. Macerate salsa to desired consistency. Stir in beans. Salt and add additional chipotle, lime, or chile to your preference.
For the chips, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange a small pile (6 at a time is the best I can do) of tortillas and slice into desired sized wedges. Arrange on ungreased baking pan. Spritz with fresh lime juice and sprinkle with salt. Bake until golden brown and until the chips are crispy throughout (about 10 minutes for me).
The only thing left to do now is EAT! So, dig into a big pile of chunky salsa and healthy baked chips and enjoy!