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Texas Salsa

The only two things in life that make it just awesome…

is queso that tastes good and fresh, spicy salsa.

Texas Salsa  |  {Five Heart Home}

If you enjoy bad twists on good lyrics — and if you’ve never made your own salsa before — well then, today is your lucky day! (Not to worry…queso will get its own glorious post at a later date.) Homemade salsa is quick, easy, fresh, and tasty! Let’s get started, shall we?

Salsa is pretty much a food group in Texas. And how much do I love thee, salsa? Let me count the ways. Yes, salsa makes an undeniably good dip for tortilla chips. But it’s also so much more, a veritable Little Engine That Could of the culinary world, if you will. Use it to boost the flavor of eggs, beans, rice, fish, chicken, meatloaf, hamburgers, Mexican food (well, obviously)…you get the drift. The list goes on and on.

Texas Salsa  |  {Five Heart Home}

My favorite kind of salsa comes from fresh, in-season tomatoes, and my preferred method for procuring said salsa is to briefly roast the tomatoes in the oven to intensify their bright flavor before whirring them up in the food processor with my other ingredients of choice. The downside to making salsa with fresh tomatoes is that it can end up turning watery. But lucky for us, there are a few potential remedies for this problem.

First off, I extract as many seeds and squeeze as much juice as possible from my tomatoes before roasting. It also helps to use a meatier tomato with less seeds and juice to begin with (like a plum tomato). Then if my salsa is still watery after puréeing everything, I pour it into a colander lined with a couple of paper towels and let it briefly drain over the sink. If you find this step to be necessary, just be careful not to drain all of the water off or else your salsa won’t be quite so salsa-y anymore.

Another alternative for avoiding waterlogged salsa is to cut your tomatoes into big chunks, remove the seeds/juices, toss them with some salt, and put them in a colander over the sink for 15 to 20 minutes. The salt will pull a lot of the water from the tomatoes using this method, but remember that you may need to adjust the salt accordingly later in the recipe so you don’t end up with over-salted salsa.

Texas Salsa | {Five Heart Home}

If tomatoes are out of season and you end up using store bought or home canned tomatoes, watery salsa shouldn’t be an issue. These tomatoes have already been cooked enough to activate their pectin, and this will naturally thicken your salsa. As previously mentioned, you can also cook down your fresh tomato salsa to achieve the same pectin-activation and the same end result, but that’s a different recipe for a different day.

This recipe tastes bright and fresh. It definitely carries a distinctive undertone of cilantro, so if you’re not so fond of this boisterous herb, feel free to cut it back. I used to dislike cilantro but now I love it, so I can understand how it can be an acquired taste that takes a little easing into. And while roasting the tomatoes, jalapeños, and garlic can be skipped if you’re short on time, I really think it deepens the flavor of the resulting salsa.

The other ingredient you can tweak to your liking would be the jalapeño peppers, though I certainly wouldn’t recommend leaving them out altogether. If you only use one or two and make sure to remove all of the seeds and membranes, your salsa should stay mild. Added in small amounts (and without seeds), jalapeños merely lend flavor. Only after you use multiple jalapeños will they start contributing a bit of heat. And if you like really spicy salsa, don’t remove any of the seeds or membranes! Since only you know your family’s taste and heat tolerance, you’ll have to use your judgement on this one.

Texas Salsa  |  {Five Heart Home}

So have I convinced you to whip up some homemade fresh salsa today? When I made the batch pictured here, my family scarfed down the whole bowl in a matter of minutes. That’s two pounds of tomatoes worth, folks. Even the baby was sucking scoops of it off of a chip.

I do believe it’s time to go pop open a fresh bag of tortilla chips and revel in a bowl of flavorful homemade salsa. Willie and Waylon and the boys would be so proud.

Texas Salsa

Texas Salsa

This versatile salsa is excellent as a dip with chips, and it also livens up countless other dishes including eggs, rice, beans, fish, chicken, beef, and Mexican entrees.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds tomatoes
  • 2 to 4 jalapeños, seeds & membranes removed (or left intact if you like spicy salsa)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Adjust oven rack to six inches from the top heating element and preheat broiler to high.
  2. Cut tomatoes in half, removing seeds and any juices. Arrange them, cut side up, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Cut jalapeños in half, removing seeds and membranes; place on baking sheet next to tomatoes and add whole garlic cloves to sheet as well.
  3. Place baking sheet under broiler for 10 minutes. Check at the 5 minute mark and remove jalapeños and garlic once they start getting brown spots. If tomatoes aren't darkening after 10 minutes, leave them in for a few minutes more.
  4. In the bowl of a large food processor or blender, pulse jalapeños, garlic, and cilantro leaves until minced. Add tomatoes, lime juice, and spices. Pulse ingredients until salsa reaches your desired consistency. Transfer salsa to a bowl. Store leftovers in a jar in the refrigerator.
  5. If the final salsa is too watery for your liking, you may line a colander with two or three paper towels, transfer salsa to the colander, and allow some (but not all!) of the water drain off.

Tips, Tricks, & Variations

Another option to avoid watery salsa is to cut your tomatoes into chunks, remove seeds and juices, toss with salt, and place in a colander to drain for 15 to 20 minutes. The salt will draw out additional liquid from the tomatoes. Just remember to adjust salt accordingly later in the recipe if you follow this step.

http://www.fivehearthome.com/2013/07/24/texas-salsa/

Inspired by a recipe from The Homesick Texan.

 

This post is linked to Strut Your Stuff Saturday Link Party Week 107 at Six Sisters’ Stuff.

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Comments

  1. YUM! I could eat a bunch right now!

  2. Samantha,
    Yum! Chips and Salsa are my go to snack. I pinned this and will be making it soon. New follower from Six Sisters Stuff.
    Would love for you to come to my link party on Tuesday.
    Wanda Ann @ Memories by the Mile

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks, Wanda Ann…I appreciate the invite! Thanks also for the comment and the pin! :)

  3. Thank you for all the beautiful recipes. Have a great weekend.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      You’re so welcome, Liz! I appreciate the kind comment. Hope your weekend was great, too, and that you have a wonderful upcoming week!

  4. Love salsa! At our ages 70’s have cut back on the heat but some will make this great. Glad to hear from our back yard neighbor :) Did you figure it out? Okie Sue :)

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      You’ve got me stumped, Sue! ;) Hope you enjoy the salsa! You can totally adjust the heat to your liking. :)

      • Did not mean to stump you. Perhaps I misunderstood,thought you were in Texas as we in Oklahoma call that our back yard :)

        • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

          Ha ha…yes, Sue! I thought that was probably what you meant, but then I wasn’t sure if maybe I knew you in real life and you were trying to give me a clue! :) I am in Texas and we are definitely neighbors.

          Hope you’re staying warm…we are getting ice again tomorrow, which is not typical around here! Have a great weekend. :)

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