Salsa Baby!

Man, I love salsa. I LOVE salsa! And since we're having chalupas tonight (made with ground Axis and homemade refried beans), I decided we needed fresh salsa to go on them. This recipe assumes you own a food processor. If not, a blender will do. Can the leftovers so you always have it on hand. This stuff is GOOD canned. Gives it a whole new delicious dimension. And making plenty extra is a good thing because, canned or fresh, homemade salsa makes a lovely gift. Not that we ever have any to give away, we eat it right up and if we manage to can any, we generally hoard it.

3 lbs. tomatoes
5 cloves garlic (in peel for now)
1 medium yellow or sweet onion, in peel, quartered
1-3 large jalapeños depending on your taste preference (we used five--honest, if blisters aren't forming at the corners of my mouth as I eat this, then it's not hot enough)
2-4 tsp. sea salt depending on your personal preference
1 TBS ground cumin (unless you love cumin, in which case use TWO! YUM!)
8 oz. can tomato sauce
1/4 tsp. chili powder
juice from a lime
2 TBS olive oil (for roasting)
fresh cilantro to taste, chopped fine

Place quartered onion, garlic in peel, and whole jalapeños in an oven proof pan, drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle a dash or two of salt. Roast under broiler, stirring frequently, until onion skins have blackened, jalapeños have roasted (and probably blackened here and there), but before onions are COOKED. **We're just roasting the veggies here for flavor. One of the reasons I leave the peels on is because it seems to add more flavor when I do than if I remove the peels before roasting. Once roasted until the smell is causing everyone in the house to drool, remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Core and coarsely chop tomatoes. Select several fresh sprigs of cilantro (using as much or as little as you like) and get ready for some processing. My processor isn't big enough for all three pounds plus the onions and peppers so I have to process this in several batches then stir it all together. After onions and peppers have cooled a bit, pick out the skins (don't worry if you miss a little--if you've roasted it right they'll fall apart easily in the processor and that blackened flavor is nice), and cut off and remove the onion ends. Cut off jalapeño stems and discard. Squeeze garlic cloves from their peels (if they're roasted enough, they'll pop right out) and discard the peels. Now, quick, lick your fingers. Mmmm, salty, garlicy, olive oil goodness. If you love the flavor of jalapeños but want to remove some of the heat, cut the peppers in half and scrape out the seeds.

In however many batches it takes, add all ingredients to food processor or blender and process/blend to desired consistency. Serve hot or cold (salsa served hot it SO good) as you please.

**You can roast the tomatoes as well, if you like, but I have found it makes them too sweet and I don't like the sweetness in my salsa. It's good, don't get me wrong, I just prefer this salsa without roasted tomatoes. If you want to roast the tomatoes with the rest of the veggies, just slice them in half (if Romas) or in quarters (if large) before roasting and be sure not to throw out the liquid that forms after roasting--it's delicious and should go straight into your salsa.


Shelly said...

We love salsa too! I often make a homemade peach and mango salsa that my hubby just loves!

Tina said...

Your Salsa looks Awesome. I to am a fellow Texan Blogger. I love Tex Mex food, Southern Food and just food & recipes in general. Your blog is great, I am going to add it to my favorite blogging sites.

Genie said...

Hi Tina and Shelly! Thanks for stopping by!

Peach and mango salsa, eh? I always hear about the fruit salsas but have never tried them.

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