My husband has a friend called Drew and Drew makes the most amazing homemade salsa and tortilla chips I have ever had. He gets this perfect crispiness to the chips and he is generous with the salt. The salsa is an amazing mix of flavors and is always the exact right blend of spicy kick.
Since we moved from Seattle we don’t get to see Drew anymore but I still think of his salsa. We used to always invite Drew to every party- (mostly in the hopes that he would bring a jar of salsa and a bag of hot tortilla chips.)
That recipe he would never share- (I doubt his wife even knows the recipe). And the ingredients from the store he was even secretive about! I tried sneaking up on him to get a peak a few times to no avail. Boo!
So anyway one thing I learned from Drew is that homemade salsa is always the right answer. There is just no comparison to what you buy at the store and what you make at home.
This is an absolute PERFECT hostess gift year round really. I like to bake cookies and such (which are welcome gifts) but one thing I have found is that no one can pass up delicious chips and salsa. This will appeal to the masses and you can’t really have enough of it- so if you have never tried making your own at home, give this a whirl!
I promise it is crazy easy and the best part is that you can completely customize to your tastes. I bought all my ingredients at fancy pantsy Whole Foods and I even got organic produce and the total cost was still less then what I normally pay for a big jar of salsa at the store.
Here are your basic ingredients:
This is really about making your salsa to taste so here is a very simple recipe to get you going and you can swank it up with whatever you like. I am not a spicy girl but rather a salty-lime girl so I tend to amp up those flavors.
Oh and might as well grab those chips out of the pantry because you want to taste, taste, taste as you go. (I won’t tell.)
Oh and a BIG note here– the tomatoes will make or break this recipe. If you find yucky mealy tomatoes at the grocery store, your salsa will have a very bland flavor. I try to use garden fresh or Farmer’s Market fresh tomatoes. You really won’t believe the difference in flavor. (Whole Foods in a pinch but I am always disappointed when I use regular tomatoes from my grocery store- they just don’t have the same vibrant flavor.)
- 6 fresh tomatoes (I used roma tomatoes)
- ⅓ onion- sweet or red- roughly chopped
- bunch of cilantro
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 jalepeno or serrano pepper
- 3 cloves of garlic
- You just want to roughly chop the tomato and place in a food processor or a blender.
- Add the onion and cilantro and garlic.
- Give the mixture a quick few chops in your mixer.
- Slice one lime and squeeze the juice on top as well as a few pinches of salt and a pinch or two of cayenne pepper.
- Add the pepper(s) and blend.
- For a chucky salsa you want to just do a few quick pulses in the food processer.
So again the key here is to use what you really like. If you want more of a kick you might add more jalapeno or serrano peppers and even a few squirts of tabasco. I suggest going light on the onion- this is a celebration of tomato and if you go too heavy on onion you won’t get the pretty deep red color. (And no one will want to talk to you at the party.) You can always add more so start with about 1/3 of an onion and you can always add more.
I am a mild kind of girl so I add one jalepeno that I slice and remove all the seeds/membrane. If your tastebuds aren’t as wimpy as mine just chop that bad boy up and add it in- or add two in for super kick.
I tend to squeeze a bit more lime juice on top before serving plus add another pinch of salt to the top. I also like a more pureed texture to my salsa and you can get the same consistency in just seconds in a good blender or food processor.
If you don’t see lovely tomatoes at the store you can always use canned tomatos. I am a fresh tomato kind of girl but if you do used canned tomato- grab a 28 oz can of whole tomato and from what I understand Rotel brand is the way to go. You can use smaller cans of tomatoes and mix and match flavors to keep things exciting.
And this will last for awhile in the fridge although I have to say it doesn’t last very long in our house. Just pop this in a mason jar or a weck jar to take it to your next party and I bet you become as popular as Drew is.
And if you want to make some glorious nachos to celebrate your salsa- I like to use a few kinds of cheese. Really whatever I have on hand- today was a smoked jack, colby jack and cheddar kind of day. Pepperjack or chipotle jack is really good too.
I lay the chips out on a piece of foil and top with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until melted and gooey (about 5 minutes).
Chop up a little avocado and mix that with the salsa and you really can’t go wrong.
And here are a few other recipes you might enjoy:
- Mexican Grilled Corn on the Cob
- Creamy Crock Pot Chicken Tacos
- Homemade Magic Shell for Ice Cream (2 minutes, 2 ingredients!)
- Spicy Blue Cheese and Ranch French Fries
- Homemade Almond Butter (my favorite thing right now)
Does anyone else have something else they do to make amazing salsa?