Salsa Success

Twice a month, my husband and I have been hosting a “Salsa Friday” night with friends and neighbors. Selfishly, we love getting to know people and we love chips and salsa, so this event provides us expansion of both!

Last week, my friend sent me a recipe she found for the upcoming event. She knows how much we love Chevy’s Fresh Mex chips and salsa. She found a recipe that claimed to be a valid comparison. I was wary, I’ve read and tried a few copy cat recipes without anything close to the original. However, as we’ve cultivated our Salsa Friday, I’m always eager to try out new combinations and salsas. I’m happy to report the results were wonderful! It is by far the closest recipe we’ve found to Chevy’s version and it tasted great!

The trick, in my opinion, was switching up the base. Usually, I work off a tomato base for salsa, adding ingredients and spices. I felt like my focus on this salsa was in preparing the veggies and largely built off the flavor of peppers and onions, finding the right amount of tomatoes to add without overpowering. So here’s the recipe base I used, with my alterations:

Fresh Mex Roasted Salsa

2 lbs (approximately 6 tomatoes)
1 large onion
2 jalapeno peppers
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large cloves minced garlic

Cut onion in half. Roast onion halves, whole tomatoes and whole jalapenos over an open flame until skins get begin to develop a black charring. (I roast mine directly on my gas stove burners, turning with a metal tong) Place veggies on a cool cookie sheet to rest and cool.

Prepare the cilantro in a small bowl (I use kitchen shears to cut the cilantro into pieces), add the pepper, salt and garlic to the same bowl. Set aside.

Prepare veggies for chopping and blending. Take the stems off the peppers and the ends off the tomatoes (leave the charred skin on – it’s part of the flavor). I use a hand chopper for the first stage of mixing. Put the topped peppers and onion in the mixer, blend to a medium consistency and then move contents to a blender. Add tomatoes, two at a time to the hand chopper repeating the process and adding to the blender with the peppers. Leave two tomatoes hand chopped in the hand mixer to add at the end. Add the bowl of cilantro and seasonings to the blender and blend contents to desired consistency. Put contents in a bowl for refrigeration. Add the two more coarsely chopped tomatoes to the mixture and stir well. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. (I found the salsa tasted best the longer I had it in the fridge)

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