Monday, October 15, 2007

Salsa recipes (1)

You'll never need to buy salsa again if you stick with this pretty easy formula, although you know me and my taco bell sauce.

Basically, there are a couple of types of salsa: those that use tomato and those that don't. The trick is deciding what to make based on your peppers. Within the tomato groups, you can do raw or cooked, depending on taste, and a few other factors.

Basic raw red tomato salsa:

  1. 23 oz can crushed tomato (not diced or whole, too much liquid)

  2. 2-3 jalapeno peppers (3-4 if serrano), lightly seeded, minced

  3. 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

  4. 1 bunch of green onions, diced

  5. cilantro, 1/4 to 1/3 of a bunch, minced

  6. juice of 1/2 lime

  7. salt

  8. pepper

Save yourself the headache, cut your peppers last, or else the heat will be all over everything. Beware, this stuff is much better eaten within 24-48 hours. The longer it sits, the stronger the flavors of the garlic and onion. My mother doesn't like putting fresh garlic in, instead she opts for garlic powder, and to give a little soupier, but less watery consistency, she'll put tomato juice (like V8). Other possible variations are as follows:

  • Roast the peppers first. I really don't think this makes that big of a difference, but Bayless recommends it.

  • Roast the garlic. This might make a difference, but I don't do it in the interest of time and because sometimes to salvage a salsa that's been sitting around and wasn't eaten in time, I'll cook it to get it going again.

  • Out of green onions? You can use shallots (1-2), white/yellow/red onion (1/2), or onion powder for that matter.

  • Short on good peppers? You can sneak a little red cayenne pepper powder and/or red pepper flakes to give a little extra heat.

  • Leave more seeds/membranes for extra heat if you're short on peppers.

  • Leave out one jalapeno and add a couple of canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Gives it a nice flavor.

  • If you have nice avocado, you can dice one up and mix it in. Eat it soon, though.

Tomatillo sauce:

There're a couple of tricks to this. First is you don't want to pick out tomatillos that are too green. Don't use the canned stuff for this, it does make a difference. Good red tomatoes seem to me to be harder to find which is why I opt for the canned ones. Second, you have to oven roast the tomatillos under the broiler until they are black and half of them have exploded. I've tried to skip that step or to just sautee them, doesn't work, it comes out too watery and raw tomato flavored.

  1. 8-12 tomatillos, husked

  2. 1 bunch green onion or 1/2 medium white/yellow/red, diced

  3. 2 cloves of garlic, minced, which you can oven roast with the tomatillos

  4. 2-3 peppers, minced (I use either Serrano or Jalapeno or both)

  5. 1/2 lime

  6. salt

  7. pepper

  8. cilantro, 1/4 bunch minced

Broil the tomatoes, take them out and stick them in the blender. Pulse it to reduce it to runny jelly consistency. Add your other stuff, and you've got it. I tend to make this one hotter than others, but you don't have to. I haven't tried too many variations of this one, because I don't want to screw up the tangy taste, and if you anything red to it, it turns it brown and makes look like something you don't want to eat.

No comments: