Thanks to my parents-in-law, I have an abundance of fresh goodies straight from pesticide-free gardens! What is a girl to do with all these tomatoes, peppers, and onions!?
I recently read that salsa has surpassed ketchup as the number one condiment in America. Considering how much we buy of each, I can totally see that. However, making salsa is way easier than making ketchup.
I didn’t get all the ingredients for my salsa from my in-laws. I luckily had everything I needed (I thought!) in my pantry or on my spice rack. So here goes, what I call Hoosier Salsa:
I didn’t have one. I peeked around online a little but didn’t find anything that really jumped at me as THE BEST WAY to make salsa. What I ended up doing was taking a jar of salsa out of my pantry and looking over its ingredients.
I got out my sharpest knife, my cutting board with a lip, a food-handling glove, all the veggies and seasonings I thought I’d want, a big glass container with lid, and my little food processor. I rinsed my peppers and tomatoes, and I cleaned off my garlic and onions. Then I got to chopping and processing and mixing and measuring… ok, yeah, I did the Sarah version of Recipe following to create this Indiana-grown deliciousness.
4-5 juicy tomatoes
1 jalapeno, 1 green chili pepper, and 1 green bell pepper
1 red onion and 1 white onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 T of cane sugar
½ t of ground cumin
Hot sauce of choice in amount of choice
*I didn’t have limes for juice or cilantro. As much as I don’t care for big leaves of cilantro in my food, I can tell you that it is a NECESSARY ingredient for really good salsa. My salsa turned out hot and tasty (get outta the gutter!) but I could tell there was something missing.
Clean your counter space. Gather all your goodies. Don at least one food-grade glove. Is your knife sharp? Great. We’re ready.
Take the glove off and get a snack for your toddler. Didn’t you get one for her before you started? Put the glove back on.
Peel and slice the garlic cloves. Crush the slices and put the bits into the bottom of your food processor. It is important to do the garlic FIRST so it has time to make its flavor known; you gotta give garlic time to do its job right.
Dice the tomatoes. Put 3 cups into food processor (because that’s all that fits). Pulse until it is the level of “chunky” you like. Put remaining diced tomato into large bowl, and set aside.
Get a drink for your toddler, all one-handed so you don’t have to take off the tomato-smeared glove.
Cut green chili pepper and bell pepper, removing the seeds. Put half these in the food processor, and put the other half in the large bowl with the diced tomato. Cut up the jalapeno and do what you want with the seeds; I kept about 1/3 of them and tossed the rest. All of the jalapeno pieces went into the food processor. We like spicy but I wasn’t sure how spicy this was going to be with BOTH chili and jalapeno peppers.
Cut the onions into small pieces, setting aside about 1/3 to go into the large bowl. Put the rest in the food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are well mixed. Pour this over the chunks of veggies in the large bowl.
Carefully wash and dry your one hand to get another snack for your toddler. Deliver it to her on the couch where you’ve parked her in front of a movie (bad mommy) so you could work uninterrupted in the kitchen (didn’t work, did it?). Give her a kiss and tell her you’re almost done. Go back to the kitchen where you can realize you no longer need to be wearing the glove and all that effort was ridiculous. Throw the glove in the trash.
Add 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of cumin, and 3-5 dashes of your preferred hot sauce, and then stir this lovely colorful mess.
Put the lid on the bowl and place it in the fridge for at least an hour before you taste-test.
Turn away from the fridge in time to knock over your toddler who has brought her babies into the kitchen because they need snacks, too. Apologize profusely and let her choose the snack. Take pictures of how freaking cute your kid is.
Go get the tortilla chips and sneak a taste of the salsa waaaay before it is ready. It is good.
The BHE got home about an hour after this. I presented him with a little salsa bowl of my homemade salsa and a bigger bowl of chips. He said it was good, and then he rushed to get some cold water. I tried the salsa. It burned the shit out of my mouth. Angel Baby wanted to try, too. She lurrrrves chips and salsa. I had to open a jar of mild store-bought salsa for her. I couldn’t feel my tongue but my sinuses were super clear. I think giving her some would’ve been tantamount to child abuse.
Fast-forward four days: the BHE was gifted the entire batch of homemade salsa. He ate it for a midnight snack, at lunch at work, and before dinner until it was gone. I apologize to his coworkers for the effects they had to endure.
I will make sure the child is well provisioned before I begin my work. I will have cilantro and a lime. I will not use the chili pepper and still only use 1/3 of the jalapeno seeds. I may bring the whole mess to a boil then put it in the fridge to chill for an hour.