Wednesday, January 4, 2012
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If you know me very well you know that MEXICAN food is my very favorite! I love everything about it & I could eat it everyday. Sadly, I’m the only one in my family that feels that way. They like it but they don’t LOVE it or crave it on a daily basis like I do. And, I adore Mexican restaurants. I know they are Americanized & not always authentic but what’s not to love? Seriously, where else can you get free chips & salsa?!
This recipe will rival your local Mexican restaurant’s. Don’t be alarmed by the canned tomatoes. I almost guarantee that your local Mexican dive uses canned tomatoes, which are cooked, for their salsa (not to be confused with pico de gallo, which is made with fresh, uncooked tomatoes). My neighbor told me about the tomatoes shown below & I used them for the first time today. They gave the salsa a hint of sweetness, which I liked. I usually just use regular old canned tomatoes. You can also buy them with a bit of lime juice & cilantro or green chilies. Use whatever canned tomatoes you prefer.
It is easy to adjust the spice & heat in salsa. If you don’t like cilantro or cumin, leave it out. If you like it hotter, add more jalapeños, leave in some of the seeds or add a can of Rotel. To add another layer of flavor add a chipotle pepper in adobo sauce. If you have fresh tomatoes feel free to substitute.
Remember that when you are cutting fresh jalapenos, you need to handle them with plastic gloves. I just grab a sandwich bag like this. They will burn your skin if you don't & it hurts for a day, trust me!
2 14.5 oz. cans whole tomatoes, drained
2-3 jalapeno peppers, seeded & deveined (I used 2 & they were on the large side)
2 cloves garlic, feel free to substitute garlic powder or garlic from a jar
1 handful of cilantro leaves (the stems can be bitter)
½ of a large white or yellow onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 squeeze of fresh lime juice
I have a small food processor & I like my tomatoes to be a bit chunkier than the rest of the ingredients so I process the tomatoes separately. Puree tomatoes then pour into a glass mixing bowl. Puree remaining ingredients together. I like the jalapenos, onions, garlic & cilantro to be smoother than the tomatoes. Then stir the smoothly pureed pepper/onion mixture into the pureed tomatoes. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Salsa will get thicker and more flavorful if refrigerated overnight. Makes 4 cups of salsa.
If you don't have a food processor you can use a blender.
Tips for restaurant-type salsa: They usually puree the ingredients quite a bit smoother than mine is. They don't usually add cumin or cilantro but I love them both so I add it to mine. And I think they use canned jalapenos instead of fresh.