Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Art of Salsa Making

With my 900 calorie diet, I needed some extra umph to go with my food. The diet is pretty good and most of all keeps my mouth busy. If anyone is wondering, it is 130grams of carbs, 90 grams of protein and 8 grams of fat. No fatigue, more energy and it seems to be helping my workouts.

So last night we made pico de gallo. Or as my Texas friend Becky would say, "I'm fixin' a batch of my famous picadagaya! It's all chopping; tomatoes, chile serranos, onions, cilantro and smother with lime to keep it fresh. You can use it as a dip, in tacos, or even cook with it to make some great topping sauces for meats and vegetables.

Salsas in general have their bases in tomatoes and the flavor ingredients can vary. My simple red salsa is as follows:

4 red tomatoes
8-10 chili serranos (i choose the red ones out of the bunch and use 2 for each tomatoe)
1/2 onion
cilantro to taste
1/2 cube of tomatoe buillon
garlic clove (you can used powdered, I don't. For some reason powdered garlic makes me sick)

Preparing the tomatoes is a choice thing. Some like to roast them over the flame first, cook or stew them. I put everything in the blender raw, blend and cook over low heat. You may need to add some water to thin it out while it is in the blender.

Dried chiles make for lots of great sauces. Puerco asado is made by using the dried chile "ancho". Easy to prepare. Boil the chile, deseed and blend with water, salt and a good oil. I use olive. I made this dish for a family reunion. They've never stopped talking about it.

There are so many chiles to choose from in terms of color, taste, hotness, and use. Jalepeños, in my very humble and limited experience, are best used for chile rellenos (miniatures) just the right size for a flour tortilla and beans. You never know who will get the prize as jalepeños vary in degree of heat.
If I were a Winter rver in Mexico, I would try every variety of chile and salsa available. In Acapulco, across from the Fiesta Americana hotel is a restaurant that specializes in shrimp tostadas. Their menu is on a dollar bill with the owner's face on the front. They offer over 15 different types of salsas including some made from peanuts. You would be amazed at the flavors.
Another good treat is to slice chiles, jalapeño or serrano (get rid of those seeds, they are the next day burning materials), along with onions and saute with some olive oil and smother a steak or other meat cut. Yummy!
Check your local Mexican supermarket shelf while here and you will be amazed at the recent increase in variety of premade salsas. Some are creamy, some are filled with veggies, smooth, rough, chopped, it runs the gammut.

Sorry, I Can't Resist

When I heard these words, "fight with me, fight with me, fight with me", I knew they were words of desperation. Sad.

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