Fireball (the alcohol) isn’t typically thought of as a salsa ingredient. In fact, I don’t think Fireball is ever really associated with much more than “shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots!” But now that we’re all mature adults (ha!), it’s time to find ways to make our alcohol-drinking culture seem a bit more highbrow. And I have to say, us millennials are doing a great job of that.
Case in point: Brunch. I personally don’t remember a time when a Bloody Mary or a mimosa wasn’t a must-have staple of weekend social meals, but I’m sure there was one. In fact, I imagine brunch, at some point in time, was quite civilized with tea and coffee, and health-conscious, portion-controlled plates. You can still have that kind of “brunch,” sure, but let’s be real: That’s just not what it’s about anymore. It’s about day drinking — fancy, sophisticated, totally ratchet day drinking. Plus, you get to bed earlier, which is a bonus because we’re getting old.
That brings me back to our newest recipe. Chips and dip are a crucial appetizer to serve at any festive brunch or gathering. Heck, I’ll have chips and dip for a main course any night. But when you’re hosting a holiday party, sometimes you don’t want to pop the lid off a mediocre store-bought salsa and serve as is. You want to spice it up. You want to make it memorable and, dare I say, so damn good that everyone will request it at social festivities from there on out. Enter: Alcohol salsa More specifically: Fireball salsa.
This recipe is actually so good. It is boozy, so no under-21 chip-dippers allowed, but finally, adults of age can have their shots and eat them, too. It took a couple attempts and some extra help to get this recipe right, but thanks to chef extraordinaire (and our executive producer) Kristopher Juniel, we figured out that roasting the vegetables is key to balancing out the sweet yet spicy cinnamon flavor with the typical tastes of salsa.
To make this alcohol salsa, you’ll need 5-7 small tomatoes (or 2 cups diced), ½ white onion, 1 fresh jalapeno, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 apple diced, 1 ripe mango diced (the ripeness is key!), 1-2 limes, ¼ cup cilantro, a pinch of salt, and of course, 4oz. Fireball whiskey.
Making the salsa doesn’t require a lot of work, but it does take a little time. First, slice the tomatoes in half and gently squeeze out the seeds and juice. This will prevent extra liquid from overpowering your Fireball taste. Chop the onions and jalapeños, removing the jalapeño seeds if you prefer less spice. The vegetables only need to be cut into large pieces, because after you roast them, you’ll eventually throw them in a food processor and let it do the rest of the work.
Place the cut tomatoes, onions and jalapeños on a sheet pan, and toss them in olive oil and salt. Even out the ingredients in one single layer and let them cook under the broiler for 15-20 minutes, until lightly charred and blistered, then let them cool for 20-30 minutes.
As you wait for the veggies to be done, prepare your fruit. Core and dice the apple (we left the apple skin on, but you can remove it, if you’d like), and peel and dice the mango. As mentioned above, the sweeter and riper the fruit, the better for balancing out the Fireball. Place both fruits in a bowl and squeeze the lime juice over them. Fun fact: Lime juice prevents apples from turning brown! Add 4 ounces of Fireball whiskey and stir, then set the bowl aside.
Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend. If you’re a cilantro-lover, add some in after about 15 seconds and continue to pulse until all the ingredients are combined but still a little chunky. You may need to pause the food processor a couple of times to spoon larger ingredients down from the sides.
And that’s it! This alcohol salsa is great directly out of the food processor or after a couple of hours of refrigeration. Serve it with your favorite variety of tortilla chips or use it like a condiment. You can also top it off with a little more Fireball if you want a greater buzz kick.