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Hard to believe we don't have "salsa" as a topic yet!

 

One of my verrrry favorite food bloggers, Heidi Swanson, has published what she calls "the salsa recipe of the year." The key, according to her, is the "mirasol" chile.

 

This is the recipe we used when we catered: this is a large amount, good for a party-sized crowd.

 

Kuumbwa Jazz Club's Salsa

 

1/2 bag tomatoes (Early Girls are great here, or a combo Early Girls and Romas)

1 or 2 cans canned tomatoes

2-3 garlic cloves*

1 bunch green onions*

2 bunches cilantro

1 medium yellow onion*

5 limes

1 lemon

6-7 jalapeños*

salt & cumin to taste

 

Puree *items. Puree canned tomatoes. Chop tomatoes, add to goo. Add lime & lemon juice. Salt + cumin to taste.

 

We went to Fiesta Tepa-Sahuayo again this weekend. I am proud to say that little Logan ate chip after chip laden with the very spicy salsa they serve. I was afraid to give him more than a molecule, but he insisted. His eyes were streaming and his nose was running, but he kept making the sign for "more."

:lol:

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Place in food processor:

 

One can San Marzanos

Two jalapenos, stems removed

two cloves of garlic

half red onion, roughly chopped

bunch of cilantro, stems removed

juice of two limes

salt

pepper

chopped scallions

habanero to taste

 

process to desired chunkiness, place in covered container in fridge for 24 hours.

 

Salsa Verde

 

In hot cast iron skillet or grill pan, place:

 

6-8 tomatillos halved

6 green onions whole

4 jalapenos whole

garlic cloves to taste

 

once charred, add to food processor

blend with juice of two limes

salt

pepper

cilantro

 

if tomatillos don't give off enough liquid, add water as needed.

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Salsa Verde

 

In hot cast iron skillet or grill pan, place:

 

6-8 tomatillos halved

6 green onions whole

4 jalapenos whole

garlic cloves to taste

 

once charred, add to food processor

blend with juice of two limes

salt

pepper

cilantro

 

if tomatillos don't give off enough liquid, add water as needed.

Never thought to add green onions. I'll have to try it (I use regler old yellow onions in mine). A nice addition is a glob of puréed chipotles in adobo.

 

I make a huge batch in the fall – sans cilantro – and can it. When I serve it midwinter, I add more fresh lime juice and loads of chopped fresh cilantro. Tastes just like summer.

 

I prefer my salsas on the chunky side and, so, do a lot of hand-chopping. I always purée the tomatillos, though.

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My 2 centavos:

 

I char tomatillos whole with the wrapper still on. Once they hiss and are soft, they're ready. I then peel and add them to a bowl and let them settle down.

 

I like cutting big slices of onions and charring them like that. I think most Mexican chefs avoid yellow onions and prefer white, red or spring/green onions.

 

And don't forget the Mexican Oregano, lightly toasted!

 

I am pretty tired of chipotle and these days prefer fresh serranos, grilled a bit with the other vegetables. I'm sure this will change again.

 

Locally, we're seeing more and more key limes instead of persian limes. They seem juicier and have a nicer flavor. Plus they're cheaper.

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I make a huge batch in the fall – sans cilantro – and can it. When I serve it midwinter, I add more fresh lime juice and loads of chopped fresh cilantro. Tastes just like summer.

 

I prefer my salsas on the chunky side and, so, do a lot of hand-chopping. I always purée the tomatillos, though.

I really need to get into canning. I've been buying tomatillos at the farmer's market and they are absolute heaven. It's easy to get lazy since my mexican grocer carries tomatillos year round, but the farmer's market ones are a lot better.

 

I never tried roasting them with the skin still on. Aren't they hard to peel once they're roasted?

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I've been thinking of how I make salsa and the real secret is to relax and use what you have on hand. That's easy, I guess when you keep limes, chiles and tomatoes around. But if I'm out of tomatillos, I'll is tomatoes. If I don't have fresh tomatoes, I use canned. If I don't have limes, I use a mild vinegar. If I don't have chiles, I use bottled hot sauce like Tapatio or Huichol. I love cilantro but a bunch usualy goes bad before I can use it so it rarely makes it into my salsa except on those rare times when all the planets are aligned.

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I've been thinking of how I make salsa and the real secret is to relax and use what you have on hand. That's easy, I guess when you keep limes, chiles and tomatoes around. But if I'm out of tomatillos, I'll is tomatoes. If I don't have fresh tomatoes, I use canned. If I don't have limes, I use a mild vinegar. If I don't have chiles, I use bottled hot sauce like Tapatio or Huichol. I love cilantro but a bunch usualy goes bad before I can use it so it rarely makes it into my salsa except on those rare times when all the planets are aligned.

RG, you mean you don't have a cilantro bed just out the back door? Seriously, is there a reason you don't grow it? Even here in Vermont, it'll grow like a weed for almost 6 months out of the year, and reseeds itself like nobody's business.

 

I'm with you on the “salsa is as salsa does” philosophy (if you can call it that?).

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I actually prefer vinegar to limes most of the time. I really prefer fresh tomatoes though. I use cilantro quite a bit between middle eastern, indian and mexican cooking, so I usually have some on hand. It will last a very very long time if you wrap it in a damp paper towel and put it in a ziplock bag in the crisper.

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For me, cilantro seems to last best if I pick all the leaves off the stems, wash and spin them, and store them either in Ziplock or tupperware with a dry paper towel tucked in. If it's really fresh when I start, it'll last almost two weeks this way.

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It bolts here so fast that it's just not worth it. Last year I experimented with culantro, a native succulent with the same flavor but was too lazy to try again this year. I will next summer for sure. I actually have it on hand a lot but I wouldn't not make salsa if it was unavailable. I store it in a small cup, stems down, in water which I change every couple of days.

 

The stems are good, you know. The roots, too.

 

Another thing I forgot is don't be a baby about the salt. You need it to balance the acid.

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I prefer fresh tomato, chunky salsa. But canned tomatoes are really good when pureed with lots of red chili flakes added in. One of my favorite Mexican places serves it that way. They don't have a single plate over $5.95!

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The stems are good, you know. The roots, too.

IMHO, the roots are the only reason to grow your own cilantro. They're damned near impossible to find (even at ethnic stores), and they're a key ingredient in many Thai curries. (But, as Alton Brown would say, that's another forum...)

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