If I had to live off one thing for the rest of my life, it would probably be chips and salsa. And by probably, I mean definitely. I have literally eaten half my body weight in chips and salsa in one sitting (okay, maybe not literally). Almost every weekend, I make a pyrex bowl full of salsa, and every week, it's gone in an embarrassingly short amount of time. It's kind of a problem. Whenever there's a party, and I've disappeared, look for the salsa bowl. With that said, I think you could probably say that about anybody. People love chips and salsa. Who hasn't sat down for some Tex-Mex, only to find that when your meal has finally arrived, you have gorged so bad on chips and salsa that you couldn't possibly fit anymore into your fiery belly. So, what better for the 4th? Plop down some super-fresh salsa, and watch your friends turn into salsa-induced maniacs. It may not be pretty as they dip, dive, and attack with animalistic ferocity, but I promise, they'll thank you later (after some pepto).
As promised, I will share the Fiedler Family salsa recipe, as well as some other salsa-esque recipes. These are recipes I made a while ago, but wanted to share with you now so you can plan accordingly for the 4th (or whenever some salsa would suit your fancy)!
Fiedler Family Salsa
* 5 large tomatoes (vine-ripened are my favorite)
* 1 yellow onion
* 4-6 garlic cloves (depends how big, and how much you love garlic)
* 1-2 serrano chiles (depends on how well you can take the heat!)
* 1-2 jalapenos
* 1-2 anaheim peppers
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
* A handful or two of cilantro, chopped
* Salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste (my taste: at least 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper)
* Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
* Halve the tomatoes and onion (may want to quarter the onion if it's really big)
* Place the tomatoes, onions, peppers, and garlic on a baking sheet.
* Roast in the oven until the onions are translucent and peppers are slightly charred (45 minutes-1 hour).
* Let cool a bit, then run your roasted ingredients with the other ingredients through a food processor (food processor is preferred, but a blender will work too).
* This is about how much the recipe makes:* If you want more or less, half or double the recipe. I change it up a lot depending on how many people I'm serving. Also, make sure you have enough to save for yourself!
This may seem strange in the summer, but I think that a pureed type of salsa is best warm. If you've had it in the fridge, I would suggest putting it in a little bowl and nuking it. It's still good cold, but just a thought.
*The Waiting Game
This salsa will get better the more time it has to sit and develop. So, if you have the time, I always like to give it about 12 hours or a day for all of the flavors to marry. Also, just a warning, salsa tends to get a little hotter as this process occurs!
* Calling All Sissies
I do a range with the amount of peppers, so you can adjust depending how hot or not-so-hot you like it. If you really can't take the heat, just FYI: most of the heat in a pepper lives in the ribs and seeds. So once you roast, take this stuff out if you like a really mild salsa. Also, one trick my Dad taught me-- use latex gloves when handling peppers! Hopefully you have not had the misfortune of chopping up a pepper (sans gloves) and then washing your face, touching your eye, or the sort, but it is PAINFUL. Even if you wash your hands after, it usually does not help. If you really like peppers, do yourself a favor and buy a cheap box of latex gloves to keep in one of your drawers!
* Why Roasting?
Roasting vegetables helps bring out their natural sweetness and intensifies their flavor. The veggies get slightly browned, carmelized, and crisp, and man-oh-man, do they taste good! One of my favorite ways to cook vegetables is to hit them up with some EVOO, salt, pepper, and roast (put in an oven around 375-425 degrees until the veggies are golden and delicious). It is cooking with ease and simplicity at its finest.
To make this a true Fiedler Family salsa, the peppers and such are usually smoked by my father. This gives it such a great flavor, however, I don't have a smoker, and if I did, this would probably be way too much work for me on a weekly basis. If you do have access to a smoker, go ahead and do this instead of roasting! It would also be really great if you grilled the vegetables. Again, it may be too much work to do on a normal basis, but if you already had the grill on (especially this 4th), throw your salsa veg on while you're at it!
Other Tried and True Recipes (to get your dip on):
* My spin: I use 1-2 jalapenos diced (instead of serrano chiles), another minced garlic clove, and no EVOO. You can also use white onion instead of red onion (which is a little more traditional), but the red onion makes this a favorite of mine.
* Note: This is really delicious with some grilled fish. Yum!
Black Bean & Corn Salsa
* My spin: I add fresh squeezed lime juice and I sometimes will substitute tomato for the red bell pepper. Also, you really don't have to grill the corn, but it is recommended because it gives the salad a great depth of flavor!