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How to Make Easy, Restaurant Style Salsa...

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Picture of How to Make Easy, Restaurant Style Salsa...
Over the years, I've tried many types of salsa. With today's busy lifestyles, canned
salsa soon found a place on the grocery list. Each time I found a salsa I could live with, it
was eventually discontinued. Fresh salsa was fine, but always seemed to lack that 'oomph'
I was looking for.

This is a quick and inexpensive recipe for three pints of salsa, with just a bit left over for
tasting prior to chilling. No cooking, no sterilizing the glass jars, no fuss.

When you notice the recipe calls for canned tomatoes, don't balk. You'll be surprised!
Come on, try it! You can always adjust to taste. Too hot? Not hot enough? Not enough
garlic?
 
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Step 1: The recipe...

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Time to gather the groceries:

   * 1 - 28 ounce can of whole tomatoes
    * 2 - 10 ounce cans of Original Rotel (Diced tomatoes and green chilies)
    * 1/4 cup of chopped onion
    * 1 clove minced garlic
    * 1 whole Jalapeno
    * 1/4 teaspoon sugar
    * 1/4 teaspoon salt
    * 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
    * 1/2 cup cilantro
    * Juice of 1/2 a whole lime

This recipe is listed as I found it, thanks to Bree Drummond for sharing.
However, the first time I made it, I found the lime to be a bit strong, and not
enough garlic for my taste buds. Please feel free to adjust as you prefer.

Since canned tomatoes are used, this salsa can be made any time during the year,
provided you can find fresh cilantro. I am not a fan of dried cilantro, but I suppose in
a pinch, well. A very tough pinch.

Step 2: A few more ingredients...

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Grab a fresh onion, a pile of cilantro, some garlic, and a jalapeno.
The fresher, the better. If you're brave, you can use purple onion,
but be advised, it will be strong.

Don't mix Cilantro up with Parsley. Until you are familiar with
them, it is easy to confuse the two.

Product placement warning - I don't work for Yoshi, nor do I make a dime
for suggesting their products, but I'm here to sing the praises of a Yoshi
blade. I use this knife almost exclusively where vegetables are concerned
in my kitchen. You can find them at many box stores, and even in drug stores
where "As seen on T.V." products are sold.

Step 3: Chop the onion...

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Cut the onion in half.
Cut the ends off.
Remove the peel.
Slice in thin strips. Turn sideways and slice into thin cubes.
Don't cry!

Place chopped onion into a small dish and set aside.

Step 4: Dice the Jalapeno...

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Slice the jalapeno in half.

If you are a bit of a wimp like me, you can remove the veins
of the jalapeno, which are responsible for a great deal of the
heat in the pepper. I simply use a grapefruit spoon, slide it
into the pepper and remove the veins, though I do save a majority
of the seeds for effect in the salsa, and just a bit of "Whoo hoo!"

Slice the pepper lengthwise, then cross section to produce uniform
and tiny cubes of pepper. Place into a small bowl and set aside.
Wash your hands with hot, soapy water, unless you've used a cheap
plastic glove as I did.

Step 5: Pluck the Cilantro...

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Pull one strand of Cilantro from the bunch.
Pluck the leaves off, one at a time, placing them
into a measuring cup until you have enough for the recipe.

Discard the stems, or feed them to your pet rabbit.
Or toss them onto the compost pile.
Or, stuff them into the garbage disposal, depending on where you live.
Or, toss them off the balcony of your apartment. (Just kidding)

For the observant folk, I do realize that I've photographed 1/4 cup of
Cilantro, when the recipe called for 1/2. The measuring cup I needed
was in use. ;-)

Step 6: Mince the garlic...

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If you are not familiar with garlic, now is the time for a quick 101.
In the large image below, you will see a head of garlic. An entire head.
This head is made up of many smaller sections of garlic known as
'cloves'. Depending on the type of garlic used, you may find several
cloves encased in what appears to be one single, until you cut into it.
Note the clove clinging to the main head, held only with a papery husk.

Remove one or two cloves from the head.

Slice the ends off and remove the husk. Dice into small bits and set aside in a small bowl.

Step 7: Prep the dry ingredients and the lime juice...

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In little bowls to the side, (or pile the dry ingredients together if you choose)
place 1/4 teaspoon ground Cumin, 1/4 teaspoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon sugar.

Also have 1 Tablespoon of lime juice handy.
(I still like using the little bowls ;-)

Please note the glass jar to the right labeled 'Cumin'.
Stay tuned for upcoming and amazing Instructable for that, too!

Step 8: The Machinery...

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While I'm sure a blender might suffice in such a recipe, if you have
a food processor, now is the time to drag it out. This recipe makes three
pint jars plus a bit more, so you will need something with room to do
the job without making a mess. A large processor with a 10 to 12 cup
capacity would be ideal.

May I push yet another product? This is my beloved Better Homes and
Gardens food processor. Never in my life have I had more than a yard sale
machine, so this was quite a treat. Hubby and I were uncertain of yet another
kitchen appliance, but this machine is definitely used. Especially for salsa!

And the New York Times cookbook in the image? Gotta love the public library!

Step 9: First ingredient in the pot? Tomatoes!

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First step, make sure the blade is in the bowl. (*snort*)
Dump the canned whole tomatoes into the food processor.

Why use whole canned tomatoes when they are only going to be mushed up, you ask?

You'll see by looking at the second picture in this step, that canning machines don't do
such a good job of removing extra skin and stem sections from the tomatoes. When using
diced tomatoes, you are less likely to notice them until  you are picking them out of your teeth.

You can either move the tomatoes around, making sure each one is skin and stem
section free, or you can make a big mess of your kitchen counter by removing each one for the process.


Step 10: Add the two cans of Rotel to the food processor...

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Dump in the two cans of Rotel. Did you remember to use Original Rotel?
ALWAYS check the label.

We once used Rotel with lime, thinking we could omit an ingredient, but we
were not pleased with the result. Decide for yourself, but please take my word
for it and save yourself the trouble. Adding fresh lime is much better.

Step 11: Ready? Set?

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If you're still with me, you'll notice I have a love of 'little bowls'.

Whenever I cook or bake, I utilize several, up to a dozen at times, little
bowls of ingredients. This almost eliminates the question. Did I add the salt?
Did I add the baking powder, or was that baking soda? What did I forget?

Keeping all the little essentials in tiny portions also allows for precise
recipe following. Add this, add that, add the rest, and you're done.

To recap, we now have one chopped up jalapeno minus the veins,
one clove of finely minced garlic, or two, as I have used,
1/4 cup of chopped onion, and 1/2 cup of plucked cilantro leaves.

Step 12: More of those little bowls?

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While the recipe calls for the juice of one half a lime, it is also
perfectly acceptable to use ReaLime. For salsa, I like to use one
full tablespoon.

In our little bowls, prepare the following:

1/4 teaspoon ground Cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 Tablespoon lime juice

Step 13: Dump it in, dump it in...

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After you add the Rotel, add the jalapenos, garlic, Cilantro and onion.
Go ahead, just dump it in there. There is no particular order in which
you must add all of the ingredients.

Step 14: Keep dumping...

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Dump in the salt, sugar, Cumin and lime juice...

Step 15: Get ready to mix...

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Place the lid on the food processor securely.

Decide exactly how chunky you want your salsa and go from there.
I use the pulse option on the machine, giving it 15-20 quick pulse pushes.
You will be surprised at how well the salsa stays blended once complete, without the need
to stir it up each time you wish to dip a chip.

Step 16: Divide and conquer...

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Remove the lid, remove the blade, depending on how your
machine is made, and give it a twist to shake off any excess
salsa.

You certainly don't have to place the salsa into three pint jars, but
it makes life so much easier. Besides, you may wish to give a jar
to a friend. Make it convenient to do so.

There may be just a bit of salsa left which does not quite fit, if you
have chosen to use three pint jars. Sampling, we'll call it.

You can use any clean glass jar or jars, a wonderful choice. Plastic
is fine, too, but can absorb the scent and color of your salsa. Choose
glass. It's a GOOD thing. And it is recyclable, too.

Step 17: Bon apetite!

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Grab a bag of your favorite chips, and enjoy!

Though I do not know exactly how long this salsa will remain foodsafe, I would
feel comfortable saying you should likely plan to consume the salsa within a
week for the freshest taste possible. So share, party, plan dinner. Eat it on your
chips, your burritos, enchiladas and such.

Step 18: Clean up your act...

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As soon as you finish pulsing your salsa, remove the container
from the machine and wipe up any overspills. You want to protect
your investment, you know. Nice food processors don't come along
every payday.
jeepmanjr1 year ago
GREAT salsa!! Like many, I tweaked mine a bit. I doubled the salt and added waaaaaaay more garlic. I also like my salsa hot, so I used two large jalapenos, seeds and all. Still wasn't quite hot enough for me...LOL! Lastly, after I had blended the mixture I added about 1/2 a cup of finely sliced green onion to the mix. Oh, I added a little cayenne powder too. This is the best after it's been refrigerated over night and served with the thick, crunchy home style tortilla chips. Warning: You're gonna find it hard to stop once you start!! :-)
bmelton13 years ago
I like the look of it. But my real question here is HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR YOSHIBLADE?
WUVIE (author)  bmelton12 years ago
LOL. I somehow managed not to see this post until today. Thanks for the giggle.
I love my Yoshiblade! :-)
Gunther453 years ago
I have showed so many people this recipe and I have yet to make it. I am not a big fan of salsa in jars always to much vinegar and the fresh stuff in the refrigeration section just doesn't have the restaurant taste. After reading your Instructable I was like THATS IT! I hope to make it this weekend. The only thing I am doing differently is using all organic . I am not a Tree Huger or even into Healthy stuff but have been on the Organic kick lately because it taste sooooooo much better!. So in place of the ROTEL ( which I use/ or used to use in my chilli hotdog recipe ) I am using MUIR GLEN Fire roasted diced tomatoes with green chilies, and their tomatoes as well. I can't for this batch but might try Agave Nectar in place of the sugar, is the sugar even necessary?
Either way I know its going to be good thanks for the recipe.
WUVIE (author)  Gunther453 years ago
Hello Gunther,

My apologies, I somehow managed to miss your comments and compliments. Many thanks! Hope you enjoyed it. :-) Karen
kirranikko3 years ago
How's the cumin jar instructable coming along?
WUVIE (author)  kirranikko3 years ago
Hi Kirranikko,

Guess what? I finally made the Instructable! Many thanks for asking:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Repurposed-Etched-Glass-Spice-Jars/

Karen
Great, thanks!
grassleaves3 years ago
This is going to be my sister's Mother's Day gift. I needed something that she would really and truly love. This is it!

Also, your author bio is fantastic and makes me very happy. (And: If you can make this amazing salsa, and write that amazing bio, then you can learn to crochet. Go for it!)
WUVIE (author)  grassleaves3 years ago
Hello Grassleaves,

Many thanks! I am glad you liked it. I sure fell in love when I first saw
the recipe. Glad others enjoy it, too.

And thanks for the boost on the crochet, too! :-)
perea3 years ago
you are doin it all wrong.

this is what you need for a small proportion of salsa:

3 small green tomatoes
4 jalapeños
1 small green zucchini (surprised?)
some cilantro
half onion
salt.

wash everything. remove the stems.

boil everything, but the onion. you can use some garlic too. whole fresh garlic. not powdered or dehidrated.

BONUS: if you want some extra hottness, grill the jalapeños AND LEAVE THE SEEDS. (watch your eyes in the grilling)

after all is well cook, blend it. add salt as desired.

chop the onion in small pieces. add as desired. DONT USE TOO MUCH.


there you go. a nice mexican homemade salsa.
WUVIE (author)  perea3 years ago
Sounds good. Can't wait for your Instructable with pictures! :-)
perea perea3 years ago
forget one small step.

as you blend everything, the proportion of water that you use is fundamental for the thickness of it. and use the same water from the boiling.
Made it - LOVED IT! This is the kind of salsa I have always tried to make and failed. THANK YOU! Will be making this for life.
WUVIE (author)  Tonkanhootie3 years ago
Tonkan, thank you so much! I am glad you liked it. The first time I saw it on Bree's page, I immediately made it, and we have since made it dozens of times. In fact, today we ate the last of our final jar, so tomorrow means, you've got it, three more jars!

I recently found wide mouth jar lids in plastic, so I'm even more happy about this salsa! Glad you like it, too!


:-)
nanosec123 years ago
Oh the possibilities this presents......

Ancho chiles, habanero's, chipotle, just to name a few options you can use instead of (or with) the jalepeno's


Great set of instructions, well documented, with good looking pictures.

5 of 5 from me.
WUVIE (author)  nanosec123 years ago
Nano, thank you so much for the wonderful compliments, and the patch, too!

You've made my day, thanks a million!
FoolishSage3 years ago
For those unfamiliar with Cilantro (or Coriander depending on which side of the pond you live) the best way to tell them apart is by smell. Run your hand through a bunch, bruise a few leaves and smell your hand. Cilantro has a strong and specific smell, Parsley will have a much milder and very different smell. If you have smelled it a couple of times it becomes very easy to tell them apart.
l8nite3 years ago
try a can of roasted tomatos for an added flavor boost. sounds like a great recipe
depotdevoid3 years ago
That looks great! I'm always on the lookout for a better salsa recipe, so I'll have to try this next time.

I've had the same problem with finding a decent canned salsa, too!
foetalminde3 years ago
Try using San Marzano tomatoes. They taste better IMO. Recipe looks good.
Wow, yeah... I need to make some of this. :D
canida3 years ago
Looks great!