The first time I went to a truly authentic Mexican restaurant, I got my socks knocked off when the customary bowl of chips and salsa arrived at the table. The salsa was so… different. Different, of course, from all of the jarred salsas that I had ever known. The chunks weren’t as big, it had more heat, and you could clearly taste the tomatoes, lime, and cilantro. This was quite near the opposite of any salsa I had grown up eating from a jar. And I love, love, loved it! I couldn’t get enough. I may have had to box up the majority of my meal because I filled up on an obscene amount of chips and salsa. (Okay, so I still do that.) So what took me so long to make this type of restaurant-style salsa at home? I don’t have a good answer, but the important thing is that I have made it, and I am 100% positive I will never, ever buy a jar of salsa again!
Not only is this salsa bursting with tons of fresh flavours, but it couldn’t be easier or quicker to make. Seriously. You just dump everything into a food processor (I think a blender would work too), and then you pulse to your desired consistency.
And then you sit down with an entire bag of tortilla chips, a bowl of this salsa, and watch them both disappear. It’s amazing how quickly that can happen right? Or you layer together some cream cheese and cheddar cheese, melt it in the microwave a bit, then pour this salsa over, and dig in (that is one of my all-time favourite, guilty indulgence snacks!). Basically, if you like salsa at all, you will be in love with this! And it makes a ton, so make sure you keep a steady supply of tortilla chips in the house!
You know how after you make spaghetti sauce your fingers smell like garlic and basil? And you know that it means kitchen success? (Or lack of an odour-neutralising soap?) Well, when I was done making this, my fingers smelled like lime and cilantro. Major success.
Yield: About 6 cups (a.k.a. a ginormous batch) prep time: 15 minutes total time: 15 minutes
28-ounce can whole tomatoes (peeled) with juice
2 10-ounce cans Rotel (diced tomatoes with green chilies)
¼ cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 jalepeño, quartered and sliced thin
½ cup cilantro
Juice from ½ a fresh lime
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
Add all ingredients to a food processor. Pulse until you get desired consistency (was about 10 pulses for me). Refrigerate for at least one hour, and then serve with your favorite tortilla chips.
*Note 1: This makes a large quantity so use at least an 11-cup food processor, or work in batches.
*Note 2: If you prefer a milder salsa, remove the seeds and membrane from the jalapeno before adding it to the food processor.