Food & Entertaining

An Easy, Smoky Salsa to Serve Your Holiday Guests

An Easy, Smoky Salsa to Serve Your Holiday Guests
Courtesy of Tacombi
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When it comes to holiday hosting, we’re all about easy appetizers, like dips, which can be whipped up well in advance and eaten with store-bought crackers and crudité. This year, we’re serving up Salsa Ceniza (“Ash Salsa”) from beloved N.Y.C.-based taco truck-turned-restaurant Tacombi. “This salsa is very unique in its preparation and flavor,” says executive chef Jason DeBriere, “The onions and chilies are basically burnt on the grill, griddle, or plancha [a slate slab]. When blended with the fresh tomatillos, the inherent acidity and sweetness of the tomatillos balance the charred flavor of the chilies to create a delicious salsa with a complex flavor profile.”

The salsa, which will keep for one week in the fridge, is delicious when paired with simple tortilla chips, or used as a condiment for grilled steak, chicken, and fish tacos. Make the crowd-pleasing recipe below for any upcoming holiday celebrations, or next week’s Taco Tuesday. Whichever comes sooner. Read on for the full how-to.

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Salsa Ceniza

Yields about 1 qt of salsa


3 poblano chilies

1 white onion (peeled)

1 red onion (peeled)

1 jalapeno (stem removed)

1 serrano (stem removed)

1 habanero (stem removed)

½ head roasted garlic (charred on the comal or plancha, griddle and peeled)

1 qt fresh tomatillos, husk removed and cleaned and quartered

2 tbs white vinegar

2 tbs fresh lime juice

Sugar to taste

Salt to taste

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1. Char on plancha or grill onions and chilies until blackened. Do not peel the seeds or chilies—only remove the stems.

2. Combine charred onions and chilies in a blender with the tomatillos and garlic. Blend and add vinegar, lime juice, sugar and salt. The salsa should be a little chunky; if it’s too thick, add a little water and more vinegar. Always check for salt after adding water.

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