Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Recipe: Homemade Salsa

Handsome and I looove chips and salsa.  When we were first married, we would eat at least a jar per week.  Handsome realized that it was adding up really quickly on our grocery bill, so he suggested that I make salsa from scratch.  I wasn't too keen on the idea at first, because it sounded hard and the last time I tried to make salsa it ended up disgusting (I know, you're thinking "How can salsa be gross? It's so good!", but I managed it...).  Maybe a month later, after some gentle prodding, I decided I would attempt something.  I had a basic idea of what goes into good salsa (my childhood best friend's mom is famous for her salsa, and she once showed me how to make it... a loooong, long time ago... sorry, I don't know what's up with the repeated o's... long day at work?).  It actually turned out good.  I was a little surprised.

We now make this about twice a month.  It lasts us 1 to 2 weeks.

You will need two 28 oz. cans of whole peeled tomatoes.  The store brand works juuuust fine.  You could also use fresh tomatoes, just blanch them to remove the skins and go for it!

Drain them both.  This is important, unless you like really, really watery salsa (which I do not).

You will also need 1/4 of a red onion, a clove or two of garlic, 2 oz. of chopped canned jalapenos (or a few fresh ones, seeds removed), and a big handful of cilantro (depends on your taste).  Put all of these in a blender and add one can of tomatoes.

Puree this to death.  Chop it up really good so the flavor gets distributed throughout the salsa.  It should look like the above photo, but maybe even more green if you added lots of cilantro.  Remove to a separate bowl.

Now add the other can of tomatoes and pulse in your blender until coarsely chopped.

It's hard to tell in this photo, but it's not as smooth as the first mixture, because you want a few chunks of tomatoes.  Unless you don't... then puree away.  Your prerogative.

Now you need a can of green chilies.  This will add a little spice and some colorful chunks.  I'm all about the chunks in my salsa.  I like something with body, something my chip can hold on to, something I can sink my teeth into, ya know?

Stir in your chilies, pepper, and cumin.  Taste it with a tortilla chip and adjust seasonings to taste.  You may want to add some salt, but I usually don't.  I also never add sugar or vinegar.  Those things don't belong in salsa at our house.  Yours may be different.  Just go with it.

You should now have some delicious homemade salsa to stuff your face with.  Go ahead, you're eating so many vegetables... it makes my brain spin that something soooo tasty is basically vegetable dip.  Evidence that there is a God, and that He loves us.  Just sayin'.

Here's the recipe in full form:

Homemade Salsa
by The Spares

2 (28 oz.) Cans of Whole Tomatoes, Drained
1/2 (4 oz.) Can of Diced Jalapenos or 1-2 fresh Jalapenos (seeds removed)
1/4 Medium Red Onion (or whatever onion you have)

1-2 Cloves Fresh Garlic (you may sub garlic powder, just add it with the spices at the end)
1 Big Handful of Fresh Cilantro
1 (7 oz.) Can of Diced Green Chile Peppers
1/4 t. Black Pepper
1-2 T. Ground Cumin
Salt (optional)

In a blender, add jalapenos, onion, garlic, cilantro and one can of tomatoes.  Puree until smooth. Pour in a separate bowl.
Add second can of tomatoes to blender and pulse until chopped.  Pour into the bowl with other ingredients.
Stir in chilies, pepper and cumin.  Taste with a tortilla chip and add salt if necessary.

I'm not sure how much it makes, but I'd guess 4-5 cups.

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