In the kitchen with Brett Smith: Habanero-mango salsa from Zolo Grill

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In this week's Chef and Tell interview with Brett Smith, the executive chef of Zolo Grill in Boulder, Smith admits that you won't find too many dishes on his menu absent of chiles -- a staple (along with pig) in his kitchen. While I was having dinner at Zolo, Smith brought out a bowl of habanero-mango salsa that achieved the perfect balance of sweet and hot. He shares a variation of the recipe here, taming it down just a bit for those who might have an aversion to habaneros. "I want the majority of people to be able to enjoy it and not be completely blown away by the heat," he says, adding that you can certainly increase the chile quotient if you dare. "If you want it spicier, add sides of pickled habanero chiles to really kick it up a notch."

Habanero-Mango Salsa


1 yellow pepper 1 red pepper 1 poblano pepper 1 habanero pepper, or more depending on the heat level you want 1/4 red onion 2 mangoes, peeled and coarsely chopped 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Juice of one lime 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (cider vinegar or red wine vinegar can be substituted) Salt to taste


1. Grill all the peppers, along with the onion until slightly blistered. Remove seeds. 2. Coarsely chop the peppers and combine with all the other ingredients in a food processor. 3. Pulse the ingredients until they form a chunky texture. 4. Adjust for seasoning and spice level, adding more habanero peppers if you want to increase the heat factor.

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