Two Mexican Tomato Salsas – Big Tastes in Small Bowls

 

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.

Tomato SalsaFresh 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.

Preparation
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

SERVES 4-6

  • 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)

Preparation
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.

Peggy Sholly
Down Home Delicious®
A Taste of Down Home Delicious®
Down Home Delicious® Extravaganza

Pineapple Asides with Attitude

Those of us who live close to Mexico are addicted to tomato salsas but we have also discovered the flavor of the Island’s with pineapple. These yummy recipes have taken a special place in our food favorites and add variety as well as excitement to our menus. The flavors are light and delicious, daring you not to fall in love with them. Try something new and surprise your family or guests with one or both of these treats and make a hit with all.

Spicy Pineapple Cilantro Salsa

A Pineapple nut relishDon’t be fooled by the looks of this fruity salsa. Light, sweet and delicious it is a sleeping giant of taste tingling flavor when served as an appetizer with tortilla chips. One chip and you’re hooked, bet you can’t stop eating it.

 

 

Serves 4-6 with chips

  • 1 (20-ounce) can chunk pineapple
  • 2-3 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 2-3 teaspoons white sugar
  • ½ cup washed and chopped fresh cilantro (don’t like cilantro, use a little parsley)
  • ½ jalapeno pepper, washed, seeded and minced
  • 2 teaspoons cooking oil, not olive oil
  • 2-3 teaspoons lime juice, optional
  • ¾-1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ounces pineapple juice, optional

Preparation
Put all ingredients in blender or food processor and pulse 10 seconds at a time until well crushed and blended. If you prefer a spicier version, add more jalapeno. Want less spice, delete jalapeno and substitute a teaspoon minced green bell pepper.

Add salt to taste. Stir well and set aside until ready to serve. Add lime juice at this time if you prefer. If you prefer more liquid, add pineapple juice and stir well. Makes about 3 cups salsa dip.

Pineapple Nut Relish

The sweetness and crunch of this relish makes it a delicious addition to all menus.

  • 20 ounces fresh or canned chunk pineapple
  • 2-3 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 2-3 teaspoons white sugar or sugar substitute
  • ½ cup washed and chopped fresh cilantro
  • Optional: ½ jalapeno pepper, washed, seeded and minced
  • 2 teaspoons cooking oil, not olive oil
  • ¾-1 teaspoon salt
  • A splash of pineapple juice, optional
  • 2-3 teaspoons lime juice
  • ½ cup chopped nuts, suggest walnuts, pecans or toasted almonds
  • Salt

Preparation
If you don’t want spicy, delete the jalapeno and add a touch of chopped green bell pepper instead.

Drain the juice from pineapple and reserve juice for another recipe. You can use pineapple tidbits in place of chunks, and more or less jalapeno. Do not process the ingredients but toss in large bowl until well mixed. Toss gently to blend. Chill for 1 or more hours for flavors to blend. Add lime juice and nuts just before serving.

Makes 4 side servings.

Peggy Sholly
Down Home Delicious®
A Taste of Down Home Delicious®
Down Home Delicious® Extravaganza