Thursday, April 24, 2008


speaking of homemade salsa in the fridge...justin and i have been working on perfecting our salsa since around christmas. read: i create and he is the taste tester. if you decide you'd like to come up with your own recipe for salsa, christmas is probably not the best time to make tomatoes turn to greatness. they just aren't ready. but i'm a texas girl who was coming off a 2 week fix of tex-mex and all things salsa, so i had to try.

first few tries i used roma tomatoes and roasted them with garlic, onions and jalapenos.

gorgeous, huh? the taste was not so gorgeous. not enough tomato UMPH and roasting the onions, garlic and jalapenos didn't add as much flavor as i would have hoped for. i tried this a few more times doing various things. slicing tomatoes, chipotle peppers, serrano peppers, and nothing seemed to make it perfect.

then i thought... how do restaurants get salsa so red? wonder if they use canned tomatoes. before you shudder, think on this - they ALWAYS have uber tomato taste no matter what month and are always BRIGHT red.

so here we go...

i start by adding 1 can of diced tomatoes and 1 can of stewed tomatoes

then i chop off about a half a stalk of cilantro. i've learned with salsa that easy does it or less is more. add your base ingredients in sparsely, and then more to taste.

then one jalapeno, gringo. but again - start with one. mama loves her heat, but it's best with this to take it easy. no reason for the heat to over power the rest of the flavors.

all of the other ingredients were blurry looking, so let's skip ahead to the end. you'll see that i've added big chunks of yellow onion 1/4 of an onion to be exact. yeah, big chunks... i have a hand blender with a nifty little blade that makes my salsa making less labor intensive.

There's tons of coarse black pepper in there, because when i eat good restaurant salsa i take mental notes, and black pepper is high on the list. lots of garlic - 2 tablespoons of minced garlic. then for fun i threw in a handful of green onions. i just love their taste and crunch, plus the color just goes perfect with our cilantro. ***OOPS*** forgot about salt... of course! salt to taste!

there's my favorite hand blender. i bought it to make smoothies so i would have to deal with an entire blender, and i absolutely love it. i use it several times a week and i think i paid $20 for it! get one... promise you'll love it for good.

voila! this is what it looks like after being blended. of course if you like your salsa chunky, then don't blend as finely. i sort of get carried away with the fun of my hand blender, so everything i make with it gets fully blended.

now for the taste test...

he says: "This is the best one yet." and i agree, but i think you'll be surprised just how good your salsa is if you let it "marinate" in the fridge over night. enjoy!