Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I Can't Cook But Even I Can Make: ¡Salsa!

Okay, cooks and chefs out there might scoff at this as a blog topic. I mean, everyone can probably make salsa, it's not a big deal. However, being that I am culinary-impaired, I count every little kitchen accomplishment as a major victory.

So, even though you likely have a standby salsa recipe or just use Pace Picante cause it requires no work at all (and it's not from New York City), I'm going to give you my very own recipe to quick and easy home-made ¡SALSA! anyway.

First, I always recommend going to the Farmers Market or using home-grown veggies from your (or your mother-in-law's) garden. Let's Hear It for Organic! Woot-Woot for Local!

What you Need:
  • 2-3 Tomatoes (or several small ones)
  • 1-2 Jalapeno (depending on heat)
  • 1/4 of a Red Onion
  • Handful of Cilantro
  • 1 Lime
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt, Pepper
  • Sugar
And Action:

Rinse and dice your tomato, jalapeno and onion. Mix three-quarters of your diced veggies in a large bowl. Place the other one-quarter in a food processor. Pick the leaves off the stems of a handful of cilantro, rinse and chop finely. Add to bowl and food processor.

Put the bowl of chopped veggies aside for a minute. Add approximately a teaspoon and a half of olive oil to the food processor, along with Kosher Salt and Pepper (and whatever other seasoning strikes your fancy...I use a pinch of Paprika every so often). Cut your lime in half and squeeze half of its juice into the processor, then grind the ingredients until mixed thoroughly.

Now here's the trick, you could leave all the ingredients chopped (no food processor) and make something like a Pico de Gallo. OR you could have ground up all the ingredients (instead of keeping the large bowl of veggies to the side) to have a smooth salsa.

Me? I like a combo of both.

Pour the smooth salsa from the food processor into the bowl of chopped veggies. Squeeze the remaining half of the lime and sprinkle half a teaspoon of sugar in the bowl. Like a little heat??....bust out a bottle of your favorite hot pepper sauce (I like Louisiana Garlic Hot Sauce) and add just a couple drops to the bowl.

Mix everything together and enjoy!

Lovin' this? Want More!!??

After you've become a pro at the recipe above, try adding 2-3 small tomatillos to the mixture! It adds an incredible level of freshness.

OR, if you're a guacamole-lover, take a large avocado and chop into chunks. Add to salsa but don't mash it in like guacamole, leave it in whole chunks and carefully stir in. You'll be surprised at how delectable it is to get a big bite of avocado in your salsa :)

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