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Thursday, October 2

hell-fire salsa to deflect a liar liar pants on fire

1 pasilla (aka poblano) chili
2 large jalapenos (if you have a couple serranos, do one medium-sized jalapeno and and one serrano)
2 small yellow wax peppers (when they ripen to the point of peachy orangey-colored they're spicy)
1 large clove garlic
2 to 3 scallions
1 generous pinch toasted cumin seed, ground up
1 generous pinch salt (to taste)
1 squeeze lime juice
2 red tomatoes
2 green tomatoes (or tomatillos, the husks removed)

Heat up a large heavy-bottomed skillet with a lid (I am partial to seasoned cast iron), and arrange your rinsed tomatoes, peppers, and leave the clove of garlic in its jacket.

Roast the veggies for about fifteen minutes over medium-high heat, with a lid on, and flip a couple times if you smell skins scorching.

Turn off the heat, and find your blender or food processor as the peppers, garlic and tomatoes cool a bit.

In the meantime, take a generous pinch of cumin seeds and toss those into a small hot cast iron or other heavy-bottomed pan. Toss these around the pan frequently, and as soon as you can smell these and see a touch of smoke, they're probably ready. It takes less than a minute usually. Turn off the heat, transfer the toasted seeds to a mortar and work at them with the pestle until powdered. Set aside.

Slice the peppers lengthwise, removing stems and some of the cores. You can leave the seeds if you like, but I recommend removing them. Core and slice the tomatoes. If anything is looking really burnt or scorched, just remove that bit of skin. Peel the clove of garlic. Trim your scallions leaving a goodly amount of green.

Pack all of the veggies into the blender, and pulse until everything is at least broken up. Add the powdered toasted cumin, the pinch of salt, and the squeeze of lime, and blend for a minute until smoother. If the mixture is too hot, just throw in another tomato (don't bother with dry roasting). If it's too sour, add a bit more salt. Blend between additions.

Serve with tortilla chips (I just toast white corn tortillas in the toaster oven until they're crispy, and then break them into chips, which is a great way to eliminate some calories).

Be sure to have your beverage of choice on hand.

Settle down to watch the vice presidential candidate debate, and let the burning salsa obliterate Palin's clueless talking points from your mind. It's a great distraction when she's lying through her teeth.

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