Saturday, July 3, 2010

How to make really good salsa

I make really yummy salsa. It's one thing I do well. I decided to share my "secret" with my friend Kristi who had an abundance of gorgeous tomatoes in her garden. As it's Independence Day weekend, and most everyone will be dining on summer bounty, I thought you might be interested too.

Most important rule. Use fresh summer tomatoes. None of these tasteless greenhouse tomatoes. Bland tomatoes make bland salsa. If you are just dying for salsa in the winter, I suggest using Roma tomatoes. Not great, but the best you will find that time of year. 

Seed tomatoes. Only the outer firm shell should be used. 

Have taste testers available.

Ingredients include : 
  • Tomatoes 
  • Green peppers
  • Fresh onions (really fresh. If you aren't crying when you cut them, they are too old.)
  • Cilantro (optional)

Cut all veggies around once inch and have them ready to go. 

Add handfuls of each veggie into the food processor and blend. Do not use a blender. Blenders are for baby food. Make some of the batches fine chop and some larger. (You can get a "party-size" food processor for under $20)

There is no such thing as low sodium salsa. It needs salt. Lots. I really prefer garlic salt so that the entire batch is infused with garlic without getting any garlic chucks. 

Fresh lime juice for a nice freshness and to keep the colors. 

And my secret ingredient?? Jarred Jalapenos. Not the actual jalapenos, but the juice they are stored in. It gives the salsa this wonderful briny taste and just a bit of heat, but not too much. It really makes the salsa. I usually add in chopped slices of the actual jalapeno too. Use the mild for the best taste.

Keep making batches and tasting until you have just the right combination. If one batch has too much green pepper, make the next one with mostly tomato. Making the salsa in several batches allows for more control of the proportions. 

It should look similar to this.

When you are done, hand cut some tomatoes. It gives a bright red effect to have non-crushed tomatoes throughout the dish.

If you like it more spicy (like me) add fresh jalapeno but remove the seeds. And wear gloves. Trust me.

All done. Serve with tortilla chips or over fish. Perfect for your Fourth of July picnic. Let me know if you have any questions.

By the way, when I got to Kristi's house to make the salsa, she had made these matching aprons for us to wear. I know. She sews and grows her own garden. You almost want to hate her huh?

Just kidding Kristi. :) Thanks for the fun salsa day!


Unknown said...

Your friend is inspiring me. I have tons of fabric in my den, and several apron patterns, and with work and school and, well, life, I haven't gotten to them yet. I think I may make a go of it this weekend.

amydear said...

Very fun. I love a good salsa. Have you ever tried serrano peppers? I really like them in salsa. Of course, if you have a perfect recipe, why mess with it??

Sugar Mama said...

I'll have to try that. But I do use a blender. My family likes the restaurant style salsa where it's not chunky. I like both. I'm curious about the jalapeno juice.... I have plenty of that! I buy pickled jalapenos at Costco (we use them in just about everything). Thanks for sharing!

beba said...

yum. i want you to make this for me.

TheKate said...

I like your salsa tips and am worried that I won't be able to pull it off because I don't have that gorgeous apron. Must learn to sew so that my salsa improves!

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