Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fanelle's Summer Salsa

Salsa cookin' & Mammy's wooden spoon stirrin'
A couple of days ago, my child came over for a visit; just to hang out with me. Which I think is flat-out awesome. After my work day, I was beginning the happy task of making homemade salsa when he called to tell me he was on his way. Everyone can use an extra hand in the kitchen and as I've stated before, I'd rather have him ably assisting me than anyone else. Although The Horn Player fry's some mean bacon, that's about the extent of his culinary expertise.  I slowed down the salsa making so Matt could get in on the whole process.  

On my way home after work, I had to stop off at the grocery store for a couple of things needed for my recipe and while I was there, a bin of PERfectly ripe avocados was beckoning to me. Just one extra-gentle squeeze let me know they were spot-on for a batch of Guacamole.  I bought two of the delish fruits, a premonition of my son's visit.  And that's what we had after the salsa making episode.  Was it good, you say?  So much so I have no evidence of it.  No all. We sat and chatted and dipped and chipped.  Good stuff, Guacamole.  But I digress.

'Mater's in hot water

Place the tomatoes in hot water and leave them for a couple of minutes and retrieve them for a dunk into icy water to loosen the skin.  Peel and begin the dicing.
Matthew cuttin' up

The recipe below is one that I've used for years given to me by one of my favorite people ever; my (Aunt) Fanelle.  Don't you just love that name. I do.  Great recipe that I highly recommend.  HOWever, I know I do.  And that's just what I did with my salsa version.  In fact I'm trying a new way to keep the salsa by freezing it.  We'll see how it works soon and I'll report on my success or failure.
Fanelle's Summer Salsa

10 to 12 large ripe tomatoes
1 large onion
2 or 3 green onion tops
1 rib of celery
2 tablespoons canned green chiles
2 or 3 jalapeƱo peppers
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 to 1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

Finely chop the veggies and mix all the ingredients together and bring to a rolling boil. Remove from the heat and scoop about 2 cups out and process in a blender very briefly.  Do not puree, just smooth out the chunkiness.  Add back to the mixture and pour into sterilized jars, seal and process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.  

Fanelle's 'Tweaked' Summer Salsa

15 to 20 medium ripe tomatoes
1 very large onion
2 or 3 green onion tops
2 ribs of celery with leaves
3 or 4 tablespoons canned green chiles
1 large roasted Anaheim chile
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 to 1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons cumin
LA Hot Sauce to your taste
Fresh cilantro (about 1/2 cup)
Black pepper
Juice of 1 lime

Dice the tomatoes, finely chop the onion, slice the green onion tops, dice the green chile's and remove the seeds and seams from the roasted and cooled Anaheim chile and chop.

Note: I roasted the Anaheim in a dry pan on the stove top.  After it's charred, place in foil, seal and set aside until cool.  You don't have to completely peel the skin, leave a bit for a smokey addition.

Mix all the ingredients together and bring to a rolling boil.  Stir well and return to the boil and remove from the heat.  Allow this to completely cool and place in a bowl, then into the fridge for the big chill. 

Note: I waited until the next evening (after work) to finish my salsa.  The Horn Player happened to be around so he assisted me using a new kitchen toy that I love.

When I removed the big bowl of salsa from the chill chest, I tasted it to get a sense of the blended flavors.  I added more fresh cilantro, a pinch more cumin, a little salt and the juice of one lime.  Tasted again...spicy, herby, piquant, smokey...really good.

New toy ~ Pampered Chef Hand Blender ♥
With my new hand blender The Horn Player and I processed the entire batch of salsa instead of only 2 cups blended and added back to the whole thing.  I thought maybe it would be more like the restaurant salsa style.  I was right.  It's so good y'all.

The Horn Player blenderizing the salsa ;-)

A bowl full of chip filler ready for the freezer
I froze 2 cups per serving with my Food Saver ♥ and stacked them neatly in the freezer.  Plus I had enough left over as an appetizer tonight for a Tex-Mex dinner for The Horn Player's mom, sister/bro-in-law and my step-father.  Can't wait for them to try my tweaked salsa.

A toast!  We had to try it...oh was really good

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