Hola muchachos! Long time no post! I spent the weekend in Austin again, the last of three trips there this month. I usually hate it when people go on and on and on about their life prior to getting to a recipe, so I will simply provide you with a short list of highlights:
- We did a ton of hiking each visit. My favorites included going up Enchanted Rock (I didn’t make it to the top, but close. Stupid fear of heights!) and the Barton Creek Greenbelt, which is far more interesting and beautiful than this site gives it credit for.
- My MIL took me to try yoga for the first time! It was nineties music night. 🙂 And get this—the instructor was from Saco, Maine! By the way, I really suck at yoga.
- I tried tofu bacon for the first time! But if you ask me it tastes more like beef jerky than bacon. Not complaining.
- I also tried real ramen for the first time! So far I think I prefer the sodium-infused packets that you get at the grocery store. It could have just been what I chose to put in my bowl though. More experimentation needed. 😛
I really love it there. It’s pretty much the only place I love as much as Maine, so that’s really saying something. If anyone wants me to go more in depth about why Austin is awesome, let me know and I’ll do a separate post about it. 🙂
Until then, salsa!
Okay. I know—this is weird right? This is supposed to be a baking blog. But a few months ago my neighbor’s sister asked me if I could post my salsa recipe online. So here I am! Also, I found out that my mother and I will be bathing in the Mexican sun this May so it only seems fitting that I get myself hyped up for it! Before I get started though, you should know that I had no idea how to make salsa a couple years ago (which is hilarious because it’s so easy). My wonderful neighbor Elsa taught me the basics, at which point I tweeked it a little to make it mine. So special thanks to her for saving me from a life of Pace Picante. 😛
Let’s do this thang.
Alrighty, so here is the breakdown of veggies that I use. You can use any tomato, but I strongly prefer the Roma variety. They are infinitely more flavorful and they don’t have that weird mushy consistency problem that larger and more watery tomatoes have (if you’ve ever had a soggy burger bun then you know what I mean). I also use approximately half of a white or yellow onion, two cloves of garlic, two jalapenos, and a huge handful of cilantro. I don’t normally put lime juice in my salsa, but Elsa added it to some salsa she made recently and it was amazing so I was trying to replicate it with this batch (hers was better).
It’s worth noting that I sometimes switch up how many jalapenos I use, depending on how hot I want the final product. I’ve also been known to toss in a serrano or habanero on occasion. But I think two jalapenos is good enough most of the time.
Now I just toss it all into a pot and bring it to a boil. Well, other than the cilantro and lime of course. The tomatoes and garlic cloves go in whole, as do the jalapenos (minus the stems). For the half of an onion I just cut it in two and then peel apart some of the layers.
You’ll know the veggies are ready when the onions have gone translucent, the skin is peeling off the tomatoes, and the jalapenos have dulled in color a bit. I typically use the jalapenos as my guide since they take the longest to cook. If you can stick a fork in ’em, they’re done.
So now what you need to do is drain most, not all, of the liquid from the pot. Reserve just enough so that your blender or food processor has no trouble pulsing the ingredients. I’d say about 1/3 to 1/2 of a cup. Then pulse it a couple of times!
Now add your cilantro (or leave it out if you’re one of those unfortunate souls who thinks it tastes like soap). I add a ton of cilantro. Like 3 or 4 inches off the top of the bunch. Once that’s in, pulse it a couple more times.
At this point the salsa will be sort of sad looking. It will be very dull and watery. But that’s where canned tomato sauce comes in! Adding even a few tablespoons will bring it to life and give it that vibrant red color that you’re used to. As a bonus, the tomato sauce also helps to tone down the heat. So, if your jalapenos happened to be super hot (you never know until it’s too late) then just add more sauce to even it out.
Now you can add the other things, like lime juice (optional) and salt. I like to stir in about a half a teaspoon of salt and then add more until it’s “right.” I just checked and apparently Pace Picante Sauce has 1/8th of a teaspoon of salt per each 2 tablespoon serving. That’s a lot of salt. I doubt I use more than a teaspoon and a half in an entire batch of salsa, which could probably fill three or more 16 oz bottles (I didn’t weigh it). Think of your blood pressure!
But once that’s done it’s ready to be eaten immediately. Yes, even if it’s hot. As a matter of fact lots of places down here serve their salsa warm. It took some getting used to when I first moved here, but damn if it ain’t good. Luckily, it only gets better when it’s been in the fridge for a day or two. 🙂
But there you have it. Super quick and easy 20 minute salsa that’s not only tastier than the stuff you get the store, but cheaper to make and better for you too.
I hope you’ll give it a go! If so, let me know how it turned out. You can leave me a comment or tag me in one of my many social media accounts listed at the top of the page.
Until next time <3
- 4 roma tomatoes
- 2 jalapenos
- 1/2 white or yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 bunch of cilantro
- lime juice (optional)
- Prepare the veggies by peeling the two cloves of garlic, removing the stems from the jalapenos, and breaking apart the onion layers.
- Add the tomatoes, jalapenos, garlic, and onion to a pot. Add enough water to cover.
- Allow the vegetables to boil until all are fork tender. About 8-10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/3-1/2 cup of water.
- Add the boiled veggies and the reserved water to a blender or food processor. Pulse it a couple of times to break them up. Add the cilantro and continue to pulse until you reach your desired consistency. Add salt and lime juice (optional) to taste.
- Serve hot or cold.