In America, what we commonly refer to as Salsa, the tomato-based spicy sauces of TexMex foods, has now become more favored than ketchup. There are other sauces that fit in the Salsa category that are eaten with chips or used as a sauce in cooking. Our favorites include Easy Hot Tomato Salsa, Fresh Tomato Salsa, Salsa Verde and Spicy Pineapple Cilantro Salsa.
I must admit I am a salsa snob. I prefer fresh and spicy with a nice blend of flavors and am not afraid to ask a restaurant for their recipe if I think it is really good salsa.
For example, my daughter was pregnant and living in Minnesota. She craved the salsa from a local Mexican restaurant. Good mother that I am, I called the owner, asked for the recipe and got it in broken English with quantities for the restaurant. Not to worry, I deciphered it all and came up with a mirror image that satisfied my daughter.
I also birthed one of my own which is now the favorite of our family. It is bright and fresh, easy to make and oh so yummy.
Try both and see which you prefer. Maybe, like me, you like them both and will alternate to keep your tastebuds happy.
Fresh Spicy Tomato Salsa
Fresh is always best when it comes to tomatoes. This flavor is so good you may want to puree it and use it as a base for TexMex Bloody Mary’s. For a cocktail party, puree well, strain, and add a shot of tequila. Move over Marguerita, there’s a new drink in town!!
Makes 2 cups
- *10 ounces (1 small can) original Rotel diced tomatoes and green chiles
- 6-7 cherry tomatoes or 1 fresh plum tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons white or red onion, minced
- ¼ cup minced fresh, or 1½ teaspoon dried, cilantro
- ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime, optional
- Additional jalapeno pepper, optional
*Regular petite diced tomatoes plus 1 fresh jalapeno pepper, rinsed and seeded, may be substituted for Rotel tomatoes.
Rinse and dry tomatoes. Rinse and dry fresh cilantro with paper towel to remove excess moisture; then mince onion.
Put all ingredients into blender or food processor and pulse until finely minced. Add salt to taste.
Makes about 2 cups; serve chilled.
Optional: If you prefer a fiery salsa add one jalapeno pepper, washed, seeded, and finely minced.
Easy Hot Tomato Salsa
My daughter’s favorite
- 7 medium roasted plum tomatoes or 2 (14.5-ounce) cans fire roasted tomatoes, drained
- 1-2 jalapeno, roasted, skin and seeds removed
- 1½ teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ tablespoon dried cilantro
- 1 small onion, roasted or raw, chopped small (or minced)
Roast tomatoes and jalapenos under broiler until the skin begins to brown and char, turn over and repeat on other side.
Skin and seed jalapenos. Wash hand thoroughly after handling peppers. Pepper toxins in your eyes may cause serious burns. To begin, only use 1 jalapeno. Discard browned skin from both tomatoes and jalapenos.
Put all in blender or food processor and process until well minced. Taste to see if it needs more jalapeno or salt. If not spicy enough for you, add the other jalapeno and process more. If Salsa is too watery, put in pot and boil down, stirring constantly until it is thickened. Be careful when heating, if it is already spicy before reducing it, you may find it too spicy when it is thickened. Serve warm with chips.