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Monday, August 4, 2008

Homemade Salsa to Use All Week & Then Some..

I picked another 9 pounds of fresh tomatoes today. That brings my total to 99 pounds from 5 plants!!

I used about 1/3 of them to make a nice big batch of my home made salsa. Mine is sort of like Pico d'gallo because I like to use some olive oil and red wine vinegar in it.

I basically seed and chop maybe a dozen tomoatoes, 1 bell pepper and 1/2 a large red onion. I then chop up one 'bunch' of cilantro, and seed and mince 2 jalapenos. To this I add kosher salt, pepper, oregano (fresh today) a little bit of cumin for a smokey taste, about a tbs of sugar to sweeten and to cut the acid of the tomatoes, and I usually use True Lime instead of actual lime juice just because its convenenient and cheaper and doesn't go bad on me ever. I just sprinkle the True Lime on it. I mix this all up and keep it in the fridge until it is gone or 2 weeks--depending on which comes first. Usually its gone.

I use my salsa the first day with homemade tortilla chips and we have tacos. I also use some of it to flavor rice in my homemade spanish rice. A couple days later the salsa and rice go with homemade fajitas and all week long the salsa is part of quesadilla type wraps. Other ways to use homemade salsa--mix in some black beans, some corn and some 'mesquite' flavored spices as well as rice for a good rice dish. Chipotle seasoning is also good. Add chickpeas or orzo pasta to the salsa and make a nice side dish. Any of these additions will go good in a tortilla wrap.

My kids like me to grill extra chicken, we have grilled chicken usually once a week or so. I make extra because then it is in the fridge to add to salads or wraps. I usually keep some blocks of cheese on hand as well and everyone knows how to hand grate a bit of cheese into a wrap or over a salad.

One time I had some extra zuchini so I made a soup with salsa, chicken stock and zuchini in it--very good. Usually I make salsa about 2 or 3 times a month and it is on hand most of the month that way. I've never had it go bad on me if I keep it up to 2 weeks in the fridge. Perhaps it is the wine vinegar that keeps it good? I use about 2 tbs of wine vinegar in about 8 cups of salsa. ( I don't really measure I'm just giving my best estimate here)

I NEVER buy store bought salsa for eating chips. I might buy some if I find it super super cheap--but then I just use it in some cooking recipe. My family loves the homemade too much. Store bought to me tastes like ketchup with chunks in it. My salsa is nothing like it.

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