- 1 cup mesquite wood chips
- 3 dried red chiles, such as de árbol or cayenne
- Boiling water
- Vegetable oil, for the grill
- 1 large ripe tomato
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 small onion, halved
- 1/2 canned chipotle chile in adobo—seeded, with 2 teaspoons of sauce from the can
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Soak the wood chips in water for 1 hour and drain. Meanwhile, in a small, heatproof bowl, cover the dried red chiles with boiling water and let stand until softened, about 30 minutes. Drain well. Discard the stems and seeds and finely chop the chiles.
- Light a grill. If using charcoal, scatter the wood chips over the coals. If using a gas grill, place the chips in the smoker box or on a 12-inch square of foil; fold the foil into a 6-inch square and poke 12 holes in the top. Place the package near the flames and heat until smoking.
- Lightly brush the grate with oil. Place the tomato, stem side down, in the center of the grill. Cover and cook, turning occasionally, until softened and charred all over, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, thread the garlic clove and onion onto a skewer. Place the skewer at the edge of the fire, where it is cooler. Cover and cook, turning, until lightly browned and just softened, about 8 minutes.
- Core and peel the tomato. In a blender, combine the tomato with the reconstituted chiles, grilled garlic and onion, chipotle and adobo sauce, cilantro and lime juice; puree until smooth. Scrape the salsa into a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.