Thursday, July 30, 2015


Sassy Salsa:

Okay, at home I have one of those little hand cranked food processors, which is an amazing help with this recipe.  At the restaurant I use the professional food processor, but I cut the ingredients into small wedges and pulse so that things don’t get looking like they’re smooshed instead of chopped, know what I mean? 

3 tomatoes (preferably plum tomatoes, they’re meatier), quartered
½ cup diced onion     
4 or 5 chilis, diced      
½ cup fresh cilantro, torn
½ - 1 teaspoon of  salt
2 teaspoons lime juice

Place chilis, cilantro, salt and juice in the processor, pulse a couple of times.  Add the tomatoes and pulse a few times.  I prefer to chop the onion by hand, otherwise it gets over chopped and the onion juice overpowers all the other flavors. 

This salsa is heaven all by itself on chips, crackers, quesadillas, and tacos. 

And you can play with the seasoning by replacing the cilantro with fresh mint or basil or oregano.  Mint is refreshing on a hot summer day. 

When it’s chopped you can add rinsed, drained black beans to it. 

Bell peppers, cucumber, pineapple fresh corn kernels, peaches, and melon are all wonderful additions.  I like to get a cheese pizza and put salsa with pineapple on it.  Heaven! 

Now that you have some delicious, easy fresh salsa, whatever will you do with it (once you’ve crunched through all your tortilla chips, of course)? 

Some ideas: 

First off, if you keep a container of this salsa in your fridge, you can always use it in place of chopped tomatoes and onions in recipes.  The other seasonings will liven up old recipes.  I use it in my chili recipe, queso recipe, and recently, my piccadillo recipe. 

Zap ordinary baked potatoes, and then sprinkle with a little shredded cheese or dribble on a little queso sauce.  Even better: stir salsa and shredded cheddar into mashed potatoes.  You will get Oles by the score! 

Add salsa to your macaroni or potato salad for a refreshing zip.  You can go much healthier by halving the mayo and replacing with salsa and low fat or non fat sour cream.  You’re mac or tater salad won’t bloat you so much, and you’ll get nutrients from the sour cream and salsa that mayo just can’t match! 

Use salsa instead of ketchup on cheese steak sandwiches, subs, hamburgers, hot dogs, meat loaf.  Tons more flavor!  Less sugar and salt, no preservatives.

Place chicken parts (preferably skinless) in a baking dish and cover with salsa.  Bake at 400 degrees until chicken is cooked through.  Serve over a bed of rice. 

Add to scrambled eggs, along with some shredded cheddar, or fill an omelet with salsa and shredded cheese.  Mmmm. 

A cup of salsa zips up mac and cheese. 

Creamy soups just beg for a zesty touch of salsa. 

Place salsa between the slices of cheese before grilling a cheese sandwich.  You’ll get requests for seconds! 

Add zest to your tuna salad: halve the mayo (and the calories!) and replace it with salsa. 

Either mix it into egg salad or put a couple spoonfuls on your egg salad sandwich. 

Add it to tossed salads. 

Smother a meatloaf in salsa, then bake. 

Try a little salsa on top of your regular bagel shmear. 

After you turn your steak on the grill for the last time, spread a little salsa on top.  The acid from the tomatoes is a natural tenderizer, and the flavor it adds to the beef is salsational! 

Add salsa to the filling of deviled eggs. 

Liven up succotash with a salsa flair! 

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