Salsa Hack




About: I think my interests tell a lot about me, I'm a multimedia artist which means I work in whatever medium grabs my attention, paint on canvas is very relaxing and acrylic paint can be mixed with paper to make ...

Salsa and picante sauce have been giving ketchup a run for the money for awhile now. Even when you could buy HOT salsa it wasn't really hot (IMO) but at least locally it can be difficult to find anymore. Usually I just add some habanero hot sauce to the jar, mix and eat but sometimes that's just not enough !

Like any of my guides ( I don't call them recipes) this salsa should be made according to the makers tastes. Are habaneros to hot? Leave them out. Not hot enough? Add more ! I'm thinking about making a ghost pepper version.... I was introduced to hot peppers at a very early age, my dads dad ate cherry peppers right from the jar (hotter peppers weren't as available in the 1950's-70's) and had a XXX mustard made from fresh horseradish and fresh ground mustard. Fast forward 40yrs and I've replaced the cherry peppers with pickled jalapenos. It can be difficult cooking for non-chilli heads (like my wife) what will tingle my tongue will have her reaching for the milk ( and occasionally something to throw at me) but my 8alarm chili is a local legend and my 5yo grandson uses the bottled red water on his eggs and pizza !

Use caution when working with any hot pepper, prolonged contact can make your fingers feel like they are on fire, touching your eyes or other tender parts can be painful and cooking hot peppers releases a substance that can make you cough.

 Washing your hands with rubbing alcohol or vodka  will help remove the heat carrying oils from your skin, follow up with a soap and water wash.

Step 1: Shopping

I'm a big repurposer of packaged products, this recipe calls for a combination of store bought and home grown

 1 can of rotel diced tomatoes with habanero chilies
 I small jar of picante sauce or salsa
 jarred bannana peppers, use a couple of forks full
 3 or 4 sliced pickled jalapernos, store bought or home pickled
 1 or 2 sliced habaneros, yes you can usually buy these in your produce section. I grow my own , slice and freeze.

 You will also need,
  a nonreactive bowl, glass works for me
  A clean reusable jar or canning jar
  a microwave or nonreactive pot and a stove

  Green tip: I wash and save jars and lids of various sizes, while not safe for long term shelf storage they work well for small batches that will be used quickly. I boil the jar/s to be used, dry in a 300F oven then swirl half a shot of vodka around the jar

Step 2: Mix It

run your peppers of choice through a food processor or chop them up fairly fine and add to the bowl

 Open and drain the can of rotel tomatoes and chilies  (save the juice, remember that final cleaning of the jar?)
add the remaining contents to the bowl.
open and pour the picante sauce or salsa into the bowl

 stir to mix and then microwave on high for 6minutes or until bubbling. You can also simmer the sauce on the stove until all the peppers are tender


Step 3: Jar

Once you take the sauce/salsa from your heat source of choice you can turn it into a hot ketchup by hitting it with an immersion blender or processor and then place in a jar or bottle of your choosing.

 I like mine chunky so I just spoon into a jar then microwave for another 3 minutes, clean off the rim of the jar and screw on the lid, allow it to come to room temperature on the counter and then refrigerate.

 Sorry I can't tell you how long it will keep, it seldom lasts longer than 2weeks for me....

 DISCLAIMER: Jalapenos and habaneros are high in capsaicin, the heat factor in hot peppers, depending on your degree of tolerance this sauce can be either extremely hot or nice and spicy



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    12 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    This looks great, I'll be trying it soon. I noticed you also mentioned your 8 alarm chili and bottled red water. Any chance you'd share the recipes for those? I love anything spicy, and those piqued my interest. Thanks!

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Hi, bottled red water is my disparaging name for the commercially available red "hot" sauces about all they are good for is preventing puppies from chewing on chair and table legs. If you click my name it will show you all of my "ibles" there are several hot pepper relishes and chili guides as well as many others including a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with hot sauce and cheese and a habanero cheesecake. Thank you for commenting, I hope you find something else of interest in my library


    7 years ago on Introduction

    This looks like a good option for those times of the year when real, fresh tomatoes are nothing but a memory.

    For fresh salsa, I prefer a simple salsa casera recipe derived from Diana Kennedy's great cookbooks.

    1 part onion chopped
    4 parts tomato chopped
    1 part cilantro chopped
    finely chopped fresh green chiles to taste (serrano or jalapeño are best)
    salt to taste

    You can also add chopped cabbage to many tomato salsas for a delicious, crunchy twist.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment , Maybe I'm too much an east coaster or too old school or something, but, to me, salsa is that red stuff that comes in a jar. I know that culinarily that's not right but there it is, I'm a heathen! I do make fresh summer relishes using all those ingredients except cilantro which tastes soapy to me. There are many relishes and salsa's with very similar ingredients, it just depends on the interpretation and in this age of culinary fusion where you are as likely to kind kimchee on a taco as fresh salsa on a corned beef sandwich it's all good....


    7 years ago on Step 3

    Thanks! It`s very cool! I live in Russia, here don't know how to cook a salsa. Now I will learn. Thanks.

    5 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    It seems most salsas from the store have cumin. My favorite homemade has avocado, mango, tomato, jalapeno, onions, basil, (dried), and cumin, for the family and a little added habanero for me. The mango adds a bit of sweetness for great depth of flavor. My personal preference excludes cilantro, but that is usually included in most salsas. By the way, salsas usually are not cooked, just finely chopped or put through the food processor.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    your right, most salsa is made and served fresh, its an american adaption to cook and can it. I like fresh but also like the convenience of being able to reach in the frig and get a spoonful to top a late night taco type snack. As much as I like mexican foods, I dislike cilantro, I'm one of those for whom it has a soapy taste. This salsa is a lot like what my great aunt would have called a chutney. It's pretty amazing how many foods are similar in very diverse regions, an empanada in mexico is similar but different from one in argentina, an italian ravioli is similar but different from a polish perogie and then there's the american influence of combining where you can end up with deep fried cheese ravioli served with a spicy salsa or spaghetti with chili


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I don't like cilantro much myself, but eat it whenever it is presented. Strangely, I am starting to like it. My main problem with a good salsa is that I can't stop eating it and usually end up spoiling my appetite for the repast to follow.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I know that salsa is used as a dip for chips and veggies but I seldom use it that way. I do use it as an ingredient in dips but I also use it on tacos, burritos, as a ketchup on eggs or bologna sandwich etc etc.. Thank you for commenting


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    salsa can be made from many things, usually in the USA it refers to a mix of diced tomatoes, onions, and peppers with cilantro and some other spices but can be corn and onions and tomato or any combination . Thank you for leaving a comment