Monday, August 25, 2008

Salbutes y salsa fresca

Nothing tastes like summer quite like a simple salsa fresca. Like most people, I make dozens of versions of salsa but for this few weeks of the year, when perfect tomatoes, fresh green chiles, cilantro , onions and garlic are abundant, I like to keep it simple.

Red and yellow tomatoes, serrano chiles, seeds and all, sliced into little discs, Minced garlic, diced red onion (although I usually prefer white), chopped cilantro, a squeeze of fresh lime juice and a pinch of salt.

While it's not unusual for me to eat this stuff with a spoon, I decided to use some of my leftover smoke-roasted duck and make some salbutes. These are small stuffed and fried masa cakes. First you need some masa. We are fortunate enough to have a small tortilla factory here in Cleveland where you can get fresh masa for only $.70 a pound. Unfortunately, fresh masa is extremely perishable and doesn't provide very good results if it's been refrigerated or frozen. If you can't get fresh masa and use it within 12 hours or so you can use dry masa harina which is what I used for these (the tortilla factory isn't open on Sundays). Mix your masa dough according to the package directions (If using fresh masa, you may want to knead in a little water to get a workable dough). Roll the dough into small balls, slightly larger than golf balls.

When all of the dough is balled you can press them one at a time in a tortilla press into 5 inch rounds. You want to keep them on the thick side, you're not making tortillas.

I filled mine with some leftover smoke-roasted duck, shredded and mixed with some red onion, cilantro, cumin, salt and pepper, but you can, of course, use anything that you find interesting. Pile a small amount of filling on the center of on of the rounds and cover with a second one. Pinch the edges closed and fry in some hot oil until bubbling subsides and they are golden brown.

These can be eaten with your hands as a snack dipped in the salsa or sauce of your choice. Have fun.


OhioMom said...

Those look great, my one time working with masa dough was a total failure ... sigh :)

lifeinrecipes said...

Wow, those are lovely. And you can just bet I'd be eating that salsa with a spoon. said...

hee hee where'd u get ur mortero? mortar and pestle? i have the same one i recently got in mexico... it was so funny as i spent more than an hour with three different vendors trying to bargain! great looking salsa!

guv said...

where is the tortilla 'factory' in cleveland?