I’ve sung the praises of cooking from scratch before. Sure, you can buy something similar in a jar in the store. But you get to tune this homemade salsa to exactly how you like it, how about that! You can make it as mild or as hot and spicy as you like. Or as sweet. Or as sour. Or as salty. You like it less chunky? Cut the ingredients smaller, or cook them for a longer time. You could even use a blender. Or add fresh cilantro. Below is a basic recipe that you can tweak to your own liking.
When you are lucky enough to have access to good ripe tomatoes you can make this with the summer’s bounty. Otherwise, it will turn out just fine with good quality canned diced tomatoes.
Today I’m making steak fajitas for the workers on the boat (more about those fajitas tomorrow), and so I made a quadruple batch of the salsa. It is also great with tortilla chips.
1 can (400 grams/14 oz) diced tomatoes, or a similar amount of fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 green chile pepper
1 small onion
1 garlic clove
1 Tbsp double-concentrated tomato paste
juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground chile pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp sweet paprika
1/4 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Tbsp corn starch
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the onion and cook the onion over medium-low heat until it is soft and fragrant without browning it, about 10-15 minutes.
You can either allow the salsa to simmer until it is nice and thick (which will also concentrate the flavors), or you can thicken it with corn starch. Mix the corn starch with a tablespoon of cold (!) water and then add it to the salsa.
Now it is time to taste and adjust the salsa to your liking. You want it hotter? Add more cayenne pepper. Saltier? Add more salt. Sweeter? Add more sugar. More acidic? Add more lime juice. Etc. You get the idea 😉
Allow the salsa to cool before serving. If you put it in jars while it is still boiling hot and you allow the jars to cool standing on the lid (so the hot salsa will kill any germs on the lid), then you can keep the salsa for a pretty long time in the refrigerator.
Two years ago it was my 100th post (now already above 600!) and I posted lasagne alla bolognese from scratch. This decadent dish is a lot of work, but absolutely worth it.