Sassy Salsas

Sassy Salsas


Sassy Salsas
By Brenda Hyde

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I love salsas! I remember the first time I made my own and I was amazed at the fresh, crisp taste that exploded in my mouth. There is no comparison between bottled salsa and homemade. Their uses are endless! Serve them with homemade tortilla or pita chips, quesadillas, grilled meats or seafood. I find that they are delicious immediately after mixing the ingredients at room temperature. Most homemade salsas will last at least a week if covered and stored in the refrigerator, but I do find their fresh taste is best the first 2 days or so.

You don't have to withstand burning temperatures in your mouth to enjoy salsas. To make the salsas milder do not include the seeds of the pepper or only use half the amount recommended. Experiment until you find the level of heat that is good for you. If a salsa does end up being too hot, dice or puree more tomato and add to it. This will cut the heat.

Chipotles Salsa

4 chipotle peppers
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons vinegar-such as cider or white
1 1/2 cups red ripe tomatoes, diced in 1/2 inch squares
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped

Place the chipotles in a medium-sized glass bowl (for the microwave) or small pan (for top of the range) and add the water and vinegar. Cover and simmer to soften the chiles-5 minutes in the microwave or about 30 minutes on top of the range. When done, uncover and allow to cool. In the meantime, prepare all the remaining ingredients and combine together, except for the cilantro.

Finely mince the chiles, peel and all, and stir in, adding some juice as needed to make a salsa of the desired consistency. Add the cilantro.

Salsa Mexicana

1 1/2 white onion, finely chopped
4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
2 to 4 chiles serranos, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
salt to taste
juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons olive oil

Combine onion, tomatoes, chiles, and cilantro in a bowl. Season with lime juice, salt and olive oil. Stir and allow to marinate for at least 1 hour before serving. This may be made the day ahead and refrigerated.

Pico De Gallo

3 medium tomatoes (firm to the touch)
1 green onion with the stalk
3 jalapenos or serrano peppers to taste
1/2 cilantro bunch (about half cup or more chopped)
1 medium sweet yellow onion
1 pinch of salt

Dice the tomatoes and onions into little cubes, the cilantro and jalapenos should be finely chopped.Once you've done this, you should toss all the ingredients together evenly. Optional: You can add a bit of fresh lemon or lime juice if you're going to serve the pico de gallo on fajita tacos or with seafood.

Pineapple Salsa

1 small.can pineapple rings, drained
1 tablespoon red bell pepper, diced
3 green onions, sliced fine lengthwise
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, chopped

Cut pineapple rings into 1/4 inch pieces. Mix with all other ingredients. Chill very well. This is great with pork, or as a dip for tortilla chips. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

New Mexican Salsa

4-6 long green chiles
2 Jalapeno chiles, chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoon cilantro, minced
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Roast, peel, seed and chop chiles, or substitute 1 can chopped green chiles. Mix all ingredients. Let stand 1 hr. before using.

Citrus Salsa

1 large pink grapefruit
1 naval orange
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tsp. minced, seeded jalapeno pepper

Remove peel and white pith from grapefruit and orange. With sharp knife, over medium bowl, cut grapefruit and orange sections from membranes, allowing fruit and juices to fall into bowl. Add remaining ingredients; toss to combine. Serve with tortilla, bagel or pita chips.

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