There are few things in life that I love more than Mexican restaurant-style salsa. The Mexican restaurant near our old apartment in Glasgow served the best salsa I’ve ever had, and I experimented for months trying to find the perfect combination of flavors. I really started to panic when I realized we would be moving away soon.. luckily I came up with a recipe that is pretty darn close in flavor!
The recipe I’m about to share is for 4 or 5 small servings. My husband isn’t a big fan of salsa in general, so this is the quantity I make for myself to enjoy over a day or two. Just be aware– if you are planning to make this for a party, you’ll probably want to quadruple it or so.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 medium to large tomato (yeah, the picture lies)
- 1 can of Mexican Lime & Cilantro Rotel (the flavor variation in this type of Rotel makes a big difference to me. Look near canned diced tomatoes in your grocery store.)
- 1/4c finely chopped onion
- 1 tsp (or 1 clove) minced garlic
- 1 Jalapeno pepper (I used Serrano because Wal Mart was out of jalapenos… what the heck?)
- 1/2 squeeze of lime juice
- 1/3c chopped fresh cilantro (don’t even think about substituting dried cilantro- the flavor is way different.)
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbs salt
The salt, pepper, and sugar almost got left out of the picture-taking fun!
Anyway… first you’ll want to dice up your tomato. I’m going to put everything into the food processor at the end so it doesn’t have to be perfect. You can omit the food processor at the end, though, if you want your salsa to be really chunky.
I wish I would have learned to dice tomatoes this way sooner than I did. Bringing this to you at no extra charge, folks.
Grab a medium bowl for one batch- go bigger if you increase the recipe.
Next, dice the onion very finely. I think onions are why my husband is scared of salsa. Scared that he’ll bite into an onion chunk that somehow escaped the ferocious dicing. Yes, scared… wonder if he will read this?
I drained about half of the juice from the can, but it doesn’t make a big difference. Now dump the Rotel into the bowl. Check out that sweet action shot!
Ooh, pretty! Half your lime, and..
Squeeze its juiceinto the bowl. By the way, do you have a juicer like this? If I get around to making a list of the top 10 useful kitchen gadgets, this will go somewhere near the top.
Add 1 tsp of garlic! Yeah, it’s in a jar. Sue me. It’s not a huge deal in this salsa. Mince up 1 fresh clove if you’d prefer.
Now for the pepper! I only used half of this serrano- they are considerably hotter than jalapenos. You could use 1 or 2 jalapenos instead. Also, I’m a pansy that wears gloves when working with hot peppers. Waking up in the middle of the night with fingers that feel like they are on fire isn’t a lot of fun, as it turns out. >.>
Don’t squirt it in your eye!
As I mentioned, this is only about half of the serrano, and the salsa still turned out quite spicy since I left the seeds in. I like some spice… but don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Chop up your cilantro. I’ll discuss my love affair with this herb at a later date.
Don’t forget to throw in the salt, pepper, and sugar! I apologize for the inconsistency for not adding a photo here. I’m not OCD, I swear. Right.
You can stop here if you want chunky salsa, but I like to give it a whirl in the food processor for a slightly finer texture.
Nomnomnom. Did I mention how much I love salsa? I could make a meal on this stuff! And have. A few times… or so.
Hope you enjoy! Don’t forget the tortilla chips!