I don’t mind admitting to the fact that I borrowed the basis of this recipe from some place yonder (Annie’s Salsa). For sure, I’ve changed it a rather a lot actually, in order to suit my own more specific requirements. Nevertheless, Annie’s Salsa is said to be among the very best.
Obviously, if you are intent on canning the stuff, you need to make a whole lot more than I’ve outlined below (2 – 3 cups). Easily done – just up the ante on the figures given below to suit your needs. Oh, and if you do decide to can, be sure to utilize canning salt and not table salt! Table salt is fine if you intend to consume the end-product within a few days.
I really adore a good salsa (like the dance too, regardless my two left feet ) and figured it was time to try to make one for myself. The other week, I was in town here in Lapu Lapu, Philippines to meet up with a Canadian friend. I had a tuna steak and salsa (salsa means “sauce” in English) dip. For sure, the salsa (also known as pico de gallo) was very fresh and nicely al dente, but I’m afraid that for me, a salsa dip should be viscous and clingy, so that when you stick your nachos in, they come out all dripping with deliciously luscious salsa.
I used to love a great big plateful of nachos along with a scintillatingly hot salsa dip, but these days, because I’m such a couched potato, over-doing it on the nachos is not such a wise idea because they surely help to pack on those pounds around the mid-riff section! I don’t believe it’s so much about the calories. There’s 334 calories in a large bag of nachos – 1oz or 28.3g. But, the problem lies more in the fact that there’s a high carb level. 31g carbohydrate; 21g fats; 6g protein. It’s those carbs that boost the blood’s sugar levels and in turn helps to store excess “energy” as fat.
Anyhow, this particular salsa is similar to Mexican salsa de molcajete. Erm, okay, so I don’t have a true molcajete. What’s a molcajete, you may be wondering? It’s a lava-rock mortar. Instead, I’m using Filipino lusong, which is quite the same thing – a mortar (and pestle to boot), except that it’s made from wood. It’s a really nice piece actually and I picked it up in a local shop for a mere few pesos (couple of bucks).
Apparently, it’s best to utilize round tomatoes for a table condiment. Why so? They provide for a looser texture. Suits me because I’m not able to get my hands on much in the way of a variety of tomatoes these days. Apparently Rio Grande is a good tomato for salsa, if you’re familiar with that variety. Less juice, more flesh. And the addition of some cherry tomatoes is a good call to make, such as Sun Gold, which adds to make a slightly sweeter flavour in a natural way.
Manitoba is good. Although not much flavour, it’s firm and the seeds are easy to remove
- 3 cups (1.5lbs) tomatoes, peeled, chopped and drained (remove seeds and inner juices)
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 jalapenos, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp salt (use table salt if you are not going to store the salsa; use canning salt if you wish to store)
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro
- 1 tsp sugar
- ⅓ cup vinegar (can use ⅓ cup lime or lemon juice instead)
- 2oz (57g) tomato sauce
- 2oz (57g) tomato paste
- Seed your tomatoes by slicing through midpoint and then using the end of a butter knife to scrape the seeds out. Try not to disturb the flesh.
- Chop tomatoes, jalapeno pepper, and onion into thin slices. You can mince the garlic, or use a press.
- Add all the ingredients to mixing bowl and stir (use a food processor for ease if you prefer).
- Tear the cilantro into small pieces (this bruises it thus causing it to release more flavour), add to bowl.
- Add sugar, vinegar (or lemon/lime juice), cumin,pepper tomato sauce, tomato paste to bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Taste and add more salt and/or pepper if necessary.
- Cover and chill for an hour before serving.
I know that some of us may wonder about the addition of tomato sauce and tomato paste, right? Well, this provides for a certain consistency and flavour which many would argue is an improvement over using 100 % fresh tomatoes. Some prefer all fresh tomatoes – that’s entirely up to you.
Use a blender to create a puree if you prefer the sauce to be smoother.
The recipe I’ve listed above is fairly tame in terms of hot ‘n spicy. Add your chili of choice if you prefer more punch – I surely did!!
Please do leave a comment about anything – how to improve, what you do or would do differently, what you think about the combinations used in the recipe – anything at all thank you!