Being a big fan of Mexican food, with a near addiction to chipotle chillies, I make batches of Chipotle tomato salsa every week to add to tacos, salads, grilled chicken and just about everything else! But because of my weak immune system, over indulgence in certain foods (mostly fruit, vegetables and nuts), leads to a period of allergies to a particular ingredient, tomatoes being an occasional culprit.
Avoiding tomatoes rules out most of my favourite dishes so I decided to adapt. I swapped tomatoes for sweet romano peppers and created a salsa loosely based on my favourite (from Thomasina Mears). I took advantage of the milder salsa and paired it with chicken poached with delicate yet aromatic flavours. If you're very sensitive to spice, you could add a dollop of sour cream to your tacos or cut down on the chipotle.
2 Red Romano Peppers
1-2 (depending on your taste for spice) Chipotle chillies (soaked for 10mins in hot water)
2 Cloves of Garlic (skin on)
1 Red Onion, cut into wedges
1/2 teaspoon of instant coffee granules
2 Chicken Breasts, free range
4 Black Peppercorns
3 Bay Leaves
2 Baby Gem Lettuce
4 Spring Onions
1 Red Chilli
6 Tortillas (flour or corn)
Step 1First, start with the salsa. Put a dry frying pan on a high heat and dry roast the peppers, onion and garlic until charred and smoking. The garlic and onions will roast quicker so be sure to remove them from the pan earlier. Once they're done, de-seed and chop the pepper into large chunks. Roughly chop the chipotle chillies, slip the skins off the garlic cloves and put all ingredients into a blender. Blitz until it reaches a coarse consistency. Juice the lime, combine with the coffee granules and stir through the mixture.
Step 2Now move onto the chicken. Bring a pan of water to the boil with the cloves, bay leaves and pepper corns. Add the chicken and reduce to a gentle simmer until cooked (this should take approximately 15 minutes). Remove the chicken and shred with two forks. You may reserve the cooking liquid for light soups.
Step 3De-stone and slice the avocados, and drizzle with lime juice to retain their green colour. Shred the lettuce, chop the french onions, finely dice the chilli and combine as a salad. Warm your tortillas in a hot oven or microwave for a couple of minutes.
Step 4Now assemble your tortillas. I find they're less messy to eat layered as salad, chicken, salsa and avocado. To reduce spice, add sour cream or low fat creme fraiche (it has a milder taste). Other toppings I like include toasted pumpkin seeds and grated cheddar. The leftover salsa will keep in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to a week.