Sometimes I forget what a pantry staple salsa has become. Whether it is a lunch fix (Nacho Sandwiches) or a fast dinner (“Spanish” Rice), we use salsa as more than something to scoop up with chips. Although we like that, as well.
I have issues with salsa. Most homemade salsa that I have had is too runny and/or too watery. Salsa from the store has that plastic taste (I’m not sure how else to describe it: that non-descript, doesn’t really taste like anything flavor, probably manufactured in North Jersey), but usually has a nice thick consistency.
So here is your middle ground: The best salsa ever, inspired by my mother-in-law’s recipe:
- 10 quarts of tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 2 large onions, chopped
- ½ C salt
Mix these together in a colander, and let drain for 3 hours. Transfer to a non-reactive pot. Then add:
- 1-2 stalks celery, sliced
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 2 jalepenos, sliced (de-seed for less heat)
- 2 green chilies (de-seed for less heat)
- 1 C sugar
- 1 C vinegar
- 12 oz. tomato paste
Simmer for 20 minutes. Pack in hot pint jars and process 20 minutes.
- 2 tortillas
- ½ C salsa
- ½ C grated cheese
Place one tortilla on an oven-proof dish, sprinkle with ½ the cheese. Top with the salsa and then the rest of the cheese. Put under the broiler for 1-2 minutes. Top with the other tortilla. When we don’t have tortillas, we use toast. The toast gets soggy, but it still tastes good!
“Spanish” Rice (I’m not sure if that is somehow un PC…)
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 4 C cooked rice
- 1 pt. jar salsa
1. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef, and strain off about half of the fat.
2. Add the rice and stir until coated.
3. Add the salsa and stir until everything is heated through. Sometimes we top this with grated cheese, sour cream and/or guacamole.