Cha-Cha Chevy's Salsa

(I'm told this is like Chevy's salsa but I haven't been to that restaurant in at least 8 years so I don't know how close it is...)

Lots of tomatoes (I use about a dozen Roma)

1/4 of a regular onion

jalepeno peppers... see notes for quantity (it varies)

2 cloves garlic

2-3 Tbs fresh cilantro

2 1/2 Tbs white vinegar

2 1/2 tsp salt

vegetable oil

Equipment needed: BBQ, blender, knife, tortilla chips

Like all recipes I use, I have modified this one slightly to my liking, and like any recipe that involves spices, it will not turn out exactly the same each time. Jalepenos: the last time I made this I only used about 1 1/2 jalepenos and it was plenty hot; a bit too hot for me in fact. However, my brothers-in-law in Utah who make this same recipe, always use at least 3. As everyone knows, things get spicier the further south & closer to Mexico you go! Hence, Arizona peppers are hotter than Utah peppers, apparently. I heard that the official Chevy's recipe calls for 10, or something ridiculous like that. I would recommend buying 3 or 4, depending on where you live, and adding 1/2 at a time until it's hot enough for you.

Step one: coat the tomatoes and jalepenos with oil; cook them on the grill. Turn them occasionally & cook until the peppers blacken and the tomato skins are baggy & look like they'll come off easily.

Step two: peel your two garlic cloves (may use more or less; I like two), chop them in half, and chop your 1/4 onion in large chunks (to make sure it blends evenly). Likewise, do a rough chop on the cilantro.

Step three (once tomatoes & jalepenos are cool enough to handle): cut the very tops off the tomatoes and peel the skins off; if they don't come right off, you didn't grill them long enough. Chop the tops off the peppers & cut them in half so you can add half at a time if you want. Don't peel them.

Step four: put everything in the blender! (Don't forget about the salt & vinegar.) I like to sort of layer the tomatoes with the other ingredients to ensure that it mixes evenly. Do a medium-low speed and blend until it's an even consistency; no big chunks. It will look similar to the photo above. When I use the amount of ingredients listed, it fill up my blender to the very top!

Step five: eat with chips; yummy yummy!

Tips: have extra tomatoes so you can add them at the end if it's too spicy. However, don't put raw tomatoes in; that will slightly wreck the yummy grilled flavor. Also, you don't have to use Romas; any old tomatoes will do. But since Romas are small, you won't need as many if you're using a larger variety. Chevy's, and my brothers-in-law, use liquid smoke as a final ingredient. I don't use it & don't prefer it & I don't know how much they put in.

Recipe courtesy of my brother-in-law Josh

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