by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez / Saturday, September 18, 2010
Salsa...taste the rainbow!
Choose one...or a combination of...these (secondary) optional ingredients:
Okay, once you've gathered your primary ingredients and your secondary ingredients...and chosen your cooking method, the only thing left to dig out is your blender.
If you're simmering, combine chose primary ingredients (except chosen liquid and salt) in a pot and just barely cover with water. Bring to a boil, then lower to a very gentle simmer and cook until everything just starts to get soft. Lift out the ingredients with a slotted spoon and place in the jar of the blender.
Place those same ingredients on a lined sheet tray and roast in oven until soft. Or put on a piece of foil under the broiler until beautifully charred...or on the grates of a grill...or over the flame on your gas stove. Alternately, you can toast them on top of a comal. If using dried chiles in any of these methods, watch them closely...you just want a few seconds of toasting, then set them in the hottest tap water to plump up a bit while everything else finishes charring. Transfer all to the jar of a blender.
Add a bit of your liquid and some salt. Blend until well combined. If you want a thinner salsa, add more liquid. Taste and adjust salt as needed. This is the time to add optional ingredients. Throw in a handful of cilantro...or a few big pinches of cumin (best in red salsas). If I'm adding onion, occasionally I'll add it earlier if I'm fire-roasting and put it in blender with the rest of ingredients...or else I'll chop a raw onion very small and stir it in in the end. Add a few squeezes of lime or lemon juice and stir in for contrast in the end, if you wish (I usually don't...but occasionally I do...).
Really, the amounts vary...I use what I have at the time. Once you've made it a few times, you'll be able to gauge about how much salsa you'll end up with from the amount of ingredients you use. More often than not, I end up with about a quart. Here's some examples of what different choices of ingredients will yield... Use your tastes and experiment to come up with your favorite combination!
For all of the following salsas, I used an open flame (which is definitely my preferred method, using either a grill or the broiler...it produces the best, deepest, earthiest flavor):
*Update 12/23/10: I'm also sharing this post w/ the 12 Days of Bloggie-mas!
Michiana-based food, drink, and travel writer with a fondness for garlic, freshly baked bread, stinky cheese, single malt Scotch, and Mexican food—who believes that immersing herself in different cultures one bite at a time is the best path to enlightenment.