Wednesday, June 30, 2010

recipe: fresh homemade salsa

There were a lot of requests for my salsa recipe and here it is... a month later. Oops. Sorry about that. I'm rarely punctual (one of my less charming qualities). :p

4 medium tomatoes (or thereabouts)
1 small white onion
2-3 diced green onions
1 bunch of cilantro
2 jalapenos
3 cloves garlic, diced
the juice of one lime
garlic salt
red pepper flakes

Alrighty now. Please note, I am not a professional recipe writer-upper, and I will ramble to get my point across (one of my more charming qualities). :)

When I call this a "recipe" what I really mean is a "guideline". And for the record, my husband makes this for the family, I just stand by with my bag of corn chips in hand ready to strike.

As far as the tomatoes go, the redder the better. With our last batch we had two nice tomatoes left over from our last trip to the local farmers market and when I went to the grocery store to pick up a couple more the best looking ones were roma tomatoes, so that's what we used. I don't think it matters that much. I am by no means a tomato expert.

If you like more "bite" to your salsa, use more onion. I personally prefer more green onion flavor in the salsa than "regular onion" flavor, but that's just me. You may be different.

One full bunch of cilantro. This is a must! There is no such thing in my world as "too much cilantro". Pile it on and pile it on now, please.
It goes without saying here that you need to rinse it well and then use the leaves only - discard the stems. (I actually have a TO DIE FOR baked chicken recipe that requires cilantro stems, but that's another post. I'll tell you about it next month. (LOL) Get it, next month? Ha ha...nevermind.)

With the jalapenos you need to slice them down the middle and remove the membrane and seeds. If you like hot spicy salsa you can include the membrane. If you want a milder salsa discard the membrane and seeds. We use 1/2 of the membrane from one of the jalapenos because the kids eat this too. If it were just me and my husband eating it we would use the membrane of one whole jalapeno.
Word of caution!: if you are inexperienced dealing with jalapenos please be aware that you need to be careful with the insides. Handling the membrane and seeds can really hurt your fingers, burning them and causing soreness that can last for days. I suggest you wear latex gloves or just be really careful to not handle them too much with your bare hands.

Garlic, mmmmm yummy yummy garlic. So, my husband says he uses 3 cloves, but I'd say it's closer to 4. He may make the salsa in this house, but I may add in more garlic when he's not looking. Just sayin'. ;-)

Toss in a few shakes of red pepper flakes. I suggest you start with one shake and then increase if you want more heat.

Salt and pepper to taste. We use regular salt and garlic salt pretty interchangeably in our family, and we really love garlic, so we tend to use more garlic salt in the salsa. If you aren't a huge garlic fan then you might just stick to regular salt to do the final seasoning tinkering. If you are a fellow garlic lover (or leery of vampires) just use garlic salt at this point.

Sometimes we (and by "we" I mean "my husband") will make this all by hand - dicing and chopping all the ingredients. That makes for a chunky and pretty salsa, as seen here:
MTM - mexy meal
"Muffin Tin Monday - meximeal"

Sometimes we just toss this all into the food processor and push the pulse button a few times. That makes for a very soupy salsa. Less visually appealing, but we think it tastes better. All the ingredients really get mixed up super well and get to know each other better.
EasyLuncbox Fiesta
"EasyLunchbox fiesta!"

The great thing about making something like salsa is that you can just add a little more of this or that until you get it to taste just the way you want. In that second photo we obviously added more green onion after the food processing. "We" probably added more garlic too. Just sayin'. ;-)

Store in a sealed container in the fridge for about a week or so. This salsa tastes WAY better the next day. I really recommend letting it sit in the refridgerator overnight before you dive in. It will also get spicier the older it is. By the end of the week it is spicy. Ay, caramba!

Hope you enjoy!! Oh, and don't forget the corn chips!! :)

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Tifani said... [Reply to comment]

I totally agree on the cilantro! Yummo!

The Planet Pink said... [Reply to comment]

Perfect timing. I was JUST telling hubby last night that we needed a good salsa recipe for all our home grown tomatoes that are currently sitting in buckets on my kitchen counter. Now if I can get it made before the princesses eat them all, I'll be golden! Thanks girlie!

A Gluten Free Mommy said... [Reply to comment]

Just wanted to say I really enjoy your lunch ideas! I found your blog on the spotlight 5 of the foodie blogroll. If you have a minute, my blog has recipes that might fit in your bento boxes.

shel said... [Reply to comment]

Agreed on cilantro! I may have Chris whip some up while we're at the beach. :) I can't deal with much heat, though, and my kids certainly won't stand for it. If we left out the jalapenos altogether, what do you think it would taste like? Would it be too bland?

Melissa said... [Reply to comment]

Shelley, if you strip out all the membrane and seeds the outer jalapeno will add good flavor without being spicy. It's the insides - especially the membranes - that make it so hot.

Yiran said... [Reply to comment]

Just tried your salsa recipe and loved it! I used yellow tomatoes, since that's what I hade around, and also plenty of garlic and garlic salt... :)


Yiran said... [Reply to comment]

The only thing that I don't agree with is what you said about the cilantro stems.... You've probably tried adding the stems to the salsa, but felt that they were "woody"; I included them in my salsa, and it was perfectly fine.

In my opinion, the stems only add more flavor; and I also have a sneaking suspicion that half the people out there who won't chop up the cilantro stems along with the leaves have never even tried the stem before..

Amanda said... [Reply to comment]

Oh yum!


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