The Food Zone


The Little Black Dress’ Salsa

For years, I have loved Mexican food. And my favorite Mexican restaurants are always judged by their salsa. And, with my love of cooking, I have always tried to make my own, having this deep aversion to store-bought salsas. (although some of the new specialty salsas are becoming better).

Three months into our marriage, I walked into the kitchen and saw Corby busy cutting, dicing and all that other chef stuff. When I asked what she was making, she said “salsa.”

Now, being the chef that I am, I merely nodded in that nice husband way and continued on, knowing she would have the same trouble I did. Imagine my surprise when she brought it out for me to try.

This is so good we’re thinking about starting a little specialty business. Anyway, it’s the best salsa you will ever have – just remember to add/subtract to get it just the way you want.

3 to 4 fresh tomatoes, diced, seeds and all

1 yellow bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

1 green bell pepper

1 large purple onion

3 or 4 green scallions

2 jalapenos

1 bunch fresh cilantro

1 bunch fresh basil

Several good shakes of Tabasco sauce

3 or 4 garlic cloves, minced

Juice from 1 lemon

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 large can (20oz ) tomato sauce (or just use fresh tomatoes and process in food processor)

Beer as needed for liquid and to fortify the cook.

Essentially, get a very large bowl and dice everything up and throw it all in together. One thing, with the basil and cilantro all you want are the leaves. Stir everything together and let it refrigerate for at least one hour. This is one where you need to really play with it and get it the way you want. Add this, subtract that. And isn’t that what cooking is all about?

(John A. Winters is publisher of The Paper. You can find him, the Little Black Dress and the SONS of Thunder hanging out in the kitchen, or maybe near a fire pit.)

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