Spice it Up: The Search for the Perfect Salsa, Part I

13 Jan

In addition to my other worthy goals, this year I have resolved to find the best homemade salsa recipe ever. I don’t think I risk cheapening terms of adoration when I boldly declare “I love salsa.” I mean, I’m talking I’ll-eat-it-on-its-own – no chips, no nothing – kind of affection. That’s love, right? Last week, my kind work neighbor heard my salsa aspirations (at that time, it was all talk and no action), and the next day he brought me The Great Salsa Book by Mark Miller to borrow. So out of desire and a pinch of guilt, I added all the ingredients to “Salsa Mexicana” (p. 8) to my grocery list. Read on for the A+ review (as in the search may be over) and the super flavorful, fresh and festive recipe.

Review Time!

The Flavor: Fresh. That’s the word I keep coming back to. Cilantro, lime and tomato create a flavorful medley that really tastes like you just made it.

The Green: I picked this recipe for lack of “weird” or excessive ingredients. I’d say I had to buy about $3 worth of stuff I didn’t already have on hand.

The Spice: The book awards this concoction a 4 on its heat scale. Translation: it has the healthy kick of a spicy medium salsa.

The Ease: More on this later, but the assembly was nearly as easy as pushing a button and using a knife from time to time.

The Serving Size: It makes about 2 cups. Or in real life terms, enough for 3 serious chip and dip sessions.

The Final Grade: Considering my lack of complaints, I give “Salsa Mexicana” an A. It may be tough to top it. The only thing I’d ask for is MORE. But hey, I could always double the recipe.

The Recipe

The Ingredients:

2TB diced onion

1 lb diced tomato

2 serrano chilies

2 tsp fresh cilantro

1 tsp sugar

1tsp salt

1TB lime juice

The whole gang!

1. Get out your food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, go buy one. Then you can get it out with the rest of us.

Your best salsa partner.

2. Place onion in prized kitchen appliance, and “chop” until finely diced.

3. Put your diced onion in your favorite strainer, and rinse with hot water. I don’t know why, but I did it, and my salsa was muy bien. So don’t argue.

4. Next dice tomatoes. Food processor tip. Just pulse the chop button 10 or so times for perfectly diced (not pulverized) tomatoes.

You can't really tell, but I totally pulsed the tomatoes just moments before.

5. Now dice the serrano peppers. I was nervous about using the food processor, but again, it seemed to work out ok. I just went for a constant chop in this case.

In case you've never seen serrano chilies, this is what they look like.

6. I’m ashamed to admit that I tried to chop the cilantro in the processor. To save you time, it doesn’t work. So chop it by hand, and feel good about not being lazy.

Hands-on cilantro.

7. Put all your diced things in a small mixing bowl. Then add the salt, sugar and lime juice. Mix it up.

Should look a little like this.

8. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes before indulging. Warning: these may be the longest minutes of your life.

9. Grab your chips (or spoon!) of choice and dig in.

"This is the best salsa I've ever had." - taste-tester, Ike P.

That’s it! If any one of you have a good salsa recipe, I’m more than willing to try it out and share my experience. I’ll be back next week. Be good until then!

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One Response to “Spice it Up: The Search for the Perfect Salsa, Part I”

  1. Jean Cobb January 13, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

    You make me chuckle.Alexis,you are so clever with words.I’m not a big Salsa person,but you make it sound so good.

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