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Friday, April 1, 2011


My FB friend, Rachel, currently in London, is jonesing for some good Tex-Mex food.  We had a FB conversation about making homemade tortilla chips so I dragged out my bag of Masa and was excited to see that it doesn't appear to be as challenging as I thought to make homemade tortillas (hah, famous last words).
So, this is going to be a two-part post.

Today, I'll make my homemade salsa...been making it for years...and have it ready for tomorrow.

Tomorrow, as soon as my new tortilla press arrives, I'll make homemade corn tortillas and fry some of them up for tortilla chips.  We'll see how that goes (I may grab a bag of tortillas at the store to be on the safe side :-)  I could not believe there were no tortilla presses to be found in the retail stores in my area.  I could have kept driving looking for one...but at $3.50/gallon, it didn't make sense.  Amazon had one for under $12.00 and the overnight delivery was the price of a gallon of gas.  I know I could have found one in Brownsville, but it would have cost me almost two gallons of gas to go there and back.  I could do the math!  I used to have a comal - but I ditched it, along with so many other things, when I downsized to move here.  I'll just use a large frying pan...I'm sure it will work just fine.

So, here's my time-tested homemade salsa recipe.  You can adjust for "heat" easily enough...just remember that you might want to use rubber gloves when handling your jalapenos and serranos...and don't touch your eyes or nose (or any sensitive skin) after touching the cut must wash thoroughly...with soap!  It only takes once...and I promise, you will cry like a baby if you get that shit pepper oil in your eyes!  I use surgical gloves...and in a pinch, I have covered my hands with a Ziploc bag when handling peppers.  I did without for years...until the dreaded occasion of "touching my face"....OMG - awful - beyond awful.  So, just consider using gloves.

Salsa Hecha en Casa de Debbi


1 28 ounce can of peeled stewed whole tomatoes -
        drain juice but reserve
        (put in the thick stuff, just not the runny stuff)
1 medium yellow onion - peeled, halved, and quartered
4 rough chopped green onions (white and green parts)
2 medium to small jalapenos seeded and deveined (reserve 1/2 and mince it - hold to the side)
1 serrano pepper seeded and deveined (I use a teaspoon to scrape out seeds and veins)
1 clove garlic - peeled
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp sliced pickled jalapenos with a splash of juice from the jar or can
Juice of 1 large or 2 small limes
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves (pick from stems)

fresh cilantro - it looks somewhat similar to flat leaf parsley...
but it smells and tastes distinctively different!  I paid 29 cents
for a bunch today!
The Extras:

2 thinly sliced green onions (held to the side)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves chopped and held to the side
1/2 jalapeno - reserved from above - finely minced


In large bowl of food processor, add onion quarters...pulse.  Add tomatoes (not the juice), 1 1/2 fresh jalapenos, serrano, garlic, marinated jalapenos, the lime juice, and the dry seasonings.  Pulse a few times, then add the 1/2 cup of cilantro leaves and pulse a few more times until it is the base consistency you enjoy. 

you want to see chunks in the salsa
Don't puree!   Careful with the pulse...don't over-process.  You want it the consistency of a relish.  At least I do...hate watery salsa.

After it is finished, add the "extras" that you held to the onion, diced jalapeno, and chopped cilantro.  This gives the salsa more body and texture.

the extra veg gives the salsa some texture
OK - finally tasted it - and it is dy-no-mite (not in heat, but in flavor) - I can taste the tang of the fresh lime juice, the bite of the jalapeno, the burn of the serrano (and I admit - I only used half of the serrano - it was kind of big and so were the jalapenos!). 
cut the tops off the peppers, slice down the middle, scoop out
the seeds and veins with a teaspoon to prepare for processing - if you like it
muy caliente...just cut the stems off and throw the peppers in!

It is really good.  Homemade will never eat jarred again... it's a whole world of difference.  That said, I do use jarred salsa when I don't have the time to chop and do it took me about 40 minutes to make this.  Usually takes less time, but I was trying to remember to snap photos and check the list of ingredients...usually I just fly by the seat of my pants...but this time I measured!

prepping the ingredients - usually I do a dash of this and a pinch of that

Serve with chips, over eggs, whipped into cream cheese for a dip, as a condiment for tacos and fajitas... or I like to make some rice, add a can of chicken (or leftover chicken chunks from a rotisserie chicken) and add a big spoonful (or 10) of salsa and some grated cheese, nuke it, and eat it for lunch.  Yum.

Muy bueno!

Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!StumbleUpon

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