Friday, August 29, 2008

Salsa Dancing

As you might be able to tell from my limited posts throughout this summer, writing has taken the backseat to a few of my other summertime hobbies. With summer coming to a close I didn’t want to lose the results of my cooking obsession. Posting some recipes online is not only a way ensuring I have a point of reference for future cooking, but also provides an opportunity to share my joy of cooking (and eating).

  • 4 to 6 cloves of garlic (cloves, not heads!), this is about 4 to 6 teaspoons of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley OR cilantro or 1 teaspoon of dry (I use parsley, cilantro tastes like soap to my palate)
  • 2 to 6 jalapeno peppers*, deseeded (note, latex gloves help relieve pain of deseeding)
  • 2 medium onions, de-skinned and quartered
  • 3 pounds of Tomatoes, vine core removed, quartered and deseeded (deseeding doesn’t need to be obsessive, run fingers through tomatoes a bit to pop seeds out)
  • 4 tomatillos, paper husks removed (optional- the ingredient, not the de-husking)
  • Juice from ½ a fresh lime (lemon can also be used, but lime is much better with tortilla chips)
  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar (red wine vinegar is a good substitute)
  • 1 to 2 ears of corn, grilled and removed from cob (corn is optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • A few shakes of Salsa Seasoning (if you are not lucky enough to have a Penzey’s Spices by you, order some online or add some cumin, black pepper, cayenne pepper and/ir chipotle pepper)
  • Put garlic and parsley/cilantro in food processor** and pulse 4 or 5 times, open food processor and spatula contents back to the middle.
  • Add quartered onions to food processor and pulse 4 to 5 times.
  • Add jalapenos to food processor, pulse 5 to 6 times.
  • Add tomatoes and tomatillos to food processor; pulse until tomatoes are at desired consistency (some people like chunky salsa, some like saucy salsa)
  • Pour into strainer to remove excess liquid (optional)
  • After excess liquid removed, put into bowl
  • Add lime juice, vinegar, salt and seasonings. Refrigerate for an hour or two before serving. Will remain edible for about a week, but won’t last that long!

*Peppers and spice are a very personal thing. Other peppers also work well in salsa including chilies, habaneros, serranos, and poblanos. With Jalapenos my rule of thumb is 2 jalapenos for mild, 4 for medium, 6 for hot. Anything less than 2 peppers is tomato sauce, not salsa.

**If you don't have a food processor this can kinda be done with a blender but honestly, you cannot call yourself a cook unless you own a food processor. Grab one of those billion Bath & Body Works or Linens 'N Things coupons that come in the mail and get a basic food processor. You will not be sorry.

As with any recipe, each person can play around with ingredients and amounts to fit their taste. Enjoy!


NeeNee said...

OK we are seriously sisters. I just made some fabulous homemade salsa this past Sunday. But Us "real" cooks, chop by hand. My grandma didn't use a food processor neither will I.

Actually I thought the food processor would make it a weird texture so I can try it next time, to see if it works.

Claire said...

Yum! I love salsa, as long as the tomato chunks aren't big. I know, weird... Anyway, we are lucky enough to have a Penzey's, & I had no idea that they had something for salsa!