Thursday, October 1, 2009

Recipe thuRsday: Salsa!

Mmm, salsa, the staple food of the Tex-Mex diet. Ok, maybe beans and rice and enchiladas are too, but salsa is a like a light technician for a theatre: the show can't go on without them (really, you try performing to a full house in the dark; it just doesn't have the same oomph). After years of having tried various salsas, my favorite to date is the restaurant style from Serrano's aka the Winchester (You'll get the joke if you've seen the movie Shawn of the Dead). Their salsa is super spicy and the bits are small from having been pureed. Chunky salsa is ok, but I like the ones that are pureed because then you get every flavor in one bite. You don't miss out on some onion or garlic because there isn't enough room on your chip for the whole party, if you know what I mean! So what follows is my own take on the Serrano's salsa (after many taste tests, natch) which has never failed to please yet. This recipe is best executed in a food processor, but I guess a blender would work too, although I've never tried it!

Kelly's Serrano's Restaurant Style Salsa
2 to 3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and sliced in quarters
2 to 3 cloves of garlic
2 to 3 serrano or jalapeno peppers
1 TBSP lime juice
1/4 of a yellow onion, quartered
1/4 cup green onions, roughly chopped
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
small handful of cilantro leaves, chopped finely

1. Roughly chop everything so that it blends better in the food processor.
2. Dump the veggies sans the cilantro in the food processor and give it a few pulses.
3. Pour in the lime juice, and add the salt and pepper. Pulse some more.
4. Give it a taste and then add the cilantro and pulse or two times. You want the cilantro to end up somewhat whole.

Regarding the peppers, it's the veins and seeds that hold the heat, so if you don't want this too spicy, remove them. In fact, I usually remove them and it's hot enough for most everyone. The best way to do this is to split the pepper lengthwise and then use the lat of your knife to scrape them out.
Roma tomatoes work best for this recipe in terms of flavor, but you can use any tomato so long as it is ripe and not mealy. The peak of tomato season is in the summer, so if you're making this another time of year, look for firm, bright red tomatoes that have a good tomato smell. If you need to ripen your tomatoes, place them in a brown paper bag with a banana for one day and that should do it.

Bon apetit,

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