Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Hunt for the Perfect Salsa

Let me start by saying that Mexican is one of my favorite food genres. But the best thing about going to a Mexican restaurant to me is the salsa and the homemade chips. YUM! Add in some white cheese dip and I could sit at that table and eat all day. I don’t even need an entrée because I will gorge myself on the appetizer.

But have you ever tried to find salsa like at a Mexican restaurant at the grocery store? Trust me, I have, and it doesn’t exist. Well, not at the big chains in Alabama anyway. And don’t even get me started on the jars that say “Restaurant Style” salsa. That is a bold faced lie! I can look at the jar and see the big chunks of veggies floating around and know instantly that it is not what I want. The reason I like the salsa at the restaurant is that it is pureed. I don’t like the chunks, so don’t try to fool me with your clever attempt at advertising. Anyway, several years ago after wasting money on salsas from the store, my sister and I decided to try and replicate the fresh salsa from a Mexican restaurant. We bought all fresh ingredients and chopped and mixed them up and let me just tell you, it was NOT good and not even close to Mexican restaurant salsa. I then gave up the quest for a while. It was just too much disappointment.

I took up the cause again when I tried some homemade salsa my cousin made, and then some my co-worker made. I asked them about their ingredients and I have finally mixed and matched to make a recipe that is pretty darn close to the restaurant kind. We'll call it semi-homemade salsa because most of the ingredients come from a can.

My husband and I LOVE this salsa! I usually make a “batch” once a week. We will mix it with Velveeta cheese and just have it with tortilla chips for dinner sometimes. It is also a big hit at work when we have snack days.

Jaime's Semi-Homemade Salsa

1 can Mexican Style Stewed Tomatoes
2 cans Original RO*TEL (If you like things really spicy, you can use Extra Hot RO*TEL...but beware!)
2 - 3 cloves of garlic smashed (depending on how much you like garlic)
1/2 small white onion, roughly chopped
1 cup fresh cilantro (I just buy it tied together in the grocery store, then take half the bunch and chop off the stems)

Put all ingredients in the blender, in the order listed. Trust me, it works best this way. Pulse until it is the consistency you like.


murphyec from the nest said...

I make something very similar to this. It is a knock off of the Chili's salsa. Try adding a chipotle pepper one time, it adds a whole new flavor and is really good. I use the canned chipotle peppers in adobe sauce.

Rhonda Smith said...

I'm so glad you have this on here! I, too, have been on a quest for restaurant style salsa and you can't find it in the store! I'm gonna try this and report back to you! Love the blog!!