Monday, August 13, 2007

Dance the Salsa


I may not be known for my prowess on the dance floor, but that doesn't mean I don't know anything about salsa! I've been using this great salsa recipe for years, tweaking and improving little by little, and now I'm finally satisfied with it. Actually, it's really more of a pico de gallo than a salsa. "Salsa" is the Spanish word for "sauce" and conjures up images of glass jars with yellow lids, full of viscous tomatoey goo."Pico de gallo" is Spanish for "rooster's beak," and refers to a condiment made of chopped fresh ingredients such as tomato, onion, and chiles. Chutney would also fall into this category, for reference.

Serving size: 1 party, or 1 family of insatiable siblings who will totally sneak into the refrigerator when you're not looking and demolish your salsa stash

Ingredients:

4 large ripe tomatoes
1 white onion
4 garlic cloves
4 jalapeno peppers
1 can corn (or an equivalent amount of fresh corn if you want to be fancy, but it really doesn't make a huge difference)
1 can black beans (frijoles negros)
1 bunch cilantro (this is KEY, if you don't like cilantro you may not want to even bother making this recipe at all)
2 limes
salt
a ginormous serving bowl

This salsa is dead easy to make; basically you just need to devote a lot of time to chopping. I like to quarter the tomatoes and cut out the sloppy, seedy part, then dice the remaining tomato-meat. Also dice the onion, garlic, and jalapenos. Be careful working with the jalapenos not to touch your eyes or any of your sensitive bits until you've washed your hands thoroughly. If you want a salsa mas caliente, leave in the seeds and membranes- if you're a big wimp, or you're preparing the salsa for wimps, leave them out. Drain and rinse the beans and corn. Throw everything together in your serving bowl and mix together gently (you don't want to smash up the tomatoes and make the salsa too juicy). Chop up the cilantro and mix that in too. Halve the limes and squeeze the juice over the salsa, then stir it in. If your limes aren't particularly juicy, pop them in the microwave for a few seconds or roll them around on the counter to get those juices flowing. Season with a pinch of salt to taste, and then prepare to defend your big, delicious bowl of salsa to the death against the hordes of ravenous family members who will no doubt be hanging around the kitchen by this point to figure out what smells so freaking good (hint: it's the lime and cilantro). Buen provecho!

3 comments:

T said...

Oh how I loathe cilantro. However, this salsa still looks fab. Wonder if its completely crucial to the outcome?

Ms. P said...

Nay, I'm sure it would be delicious without, esp. if you don't like cilantro. Nice first post, Elish!

Elisha said...

Yeah, I was just kidding, my obsessive love of cilantro tends to cloud my judgment. If you don't want to use cilantro, basil would probably be good, or Italian flat-leaf parsley. It's just nice to have some greenery in there!