Friday, September 12, 2008

The Ancient Secret of Salsa Making

So the other night SP, Terry and myself attempted to make salsa.

Now we had a basic salsa recipe. MEANING we had a list of what items to put in our salsa and a very approximate amount. These are our attempts…..

Attempt 1: D-
We tried in the magic bullet following the recipe as close to possible. What it yielded was a very soupy and VERY pungent flavor. I am talking hello onion, hello garlic, hello cilantro – where the heck is the tomato?!?! Terry thought he could help it out by adding vinegar but he added balsamic vinegar. Ugh, I mean it sucked anyways – but that helped it suck more very nicely. Outcome - It was "edible", barely, but this salsa went straight into our garbage disposal.

Attempt 2: C+
We moved from the magic bullet to my amazingly awesome mini food processor. I love this thing and should have tried it first. We decreased the onion, garlic and cilantro and increased the tomato. Terry also felt vinegar should be used but grabbed the right kind this time. I personally don’t think vinegar needs to be used. The salsa tasted ok, but needed more tomato and salt. Outcome – We poured it in a bowl and kept adding chopped up tomatoes to the batch. Not a complete loss, but not amazing.

Attempt 3: B+
We thought we had it figured out this time. LOTS of tomatoes, a little bit of onion, cilantro, jalapeño, and garlic. No vinegar. Pulse the mixture together. We mixed it with the previous attempt (as it was edible) and had what turned out to be an ok batch of salsa. Of course we had to add more salt and pepper, but overall pretty tasty. Outcome - We are still eating it and it actually tasted better after being in the fridge for a day. Not marketable yet, but tasty.

Attempt 4: TBD
We talked about our next attempt, as we called it quits for that night because we ran out of time and also went through a half a bag of chips during the taste testing periods!! Our future process as discussed over dinner that evening: We will chop the tomato (LOTS and half of those seeded) and cilantro together and then in a separate batch we will chop the garlic, jalapeño pepper and onion (not a red though, maybe a Spanish or yellow). Then combine and season with salt and pepper and additional hot sauce if needed. Also, add fresh lime juice to the finished product for this batch.
Outcome - We'll see!!

I think salsa is so hard to perfect. It depends on what tomatoes you have, how juicy, how much flavor, how pungent the cilantro is…there is no set recipe that works….it is just a guessing game. At least for me. It is good making it, but I honestly don’t think I would do this all the time, just on occasion.

So in conclusion:
The Ancient Secret of Salsa Making is DON’T and instead just let the professionals handle it by going to the store and buying your favorite kind.


  1. You know you makes fantabulous salsa? Sarah H. Yummeeeee!

  2. I posted a recipe for Salsa on the food blog a while should try it. I got it from a Mexican family, and on my first and all subsequent attempts I thought it was great. (It's called Norma's Hot Sauce)

    I think all salsa tastes better if you wait a day and let the flavors blend together.

    ...makes me want to go home and make some!

  3. First of all, I think it helps to be Hispanic. It's in our blood. I can't make a pot roast, but I can makes me some salsa! I'm able to make it taste great every single time... but I've never written down my recipe. Next time I make it I'll try to keep track of measurements.