Tags: Anaheim Pepper, Chile Peppers, Cumin, Fresno Peppers, Green Bell Pepper, Magic Bullet, Mango, Pepper, Poblano Pepper, Recipe, Tomato
Salsa has too long been a bastion for the onion, but it’s totally unnecessary. Unless you want your salsa to taste like armpit, toss out the onion and go back to the core elements that make a salsa great.
If you’re really not into the DIY thing, there is one commercially available salsa with no onions, and it’s excellent. I’ve posted a review here: Salsa With No Onions
What does salsa absolutely have to have for it to be valid? Chili peppers. You need other stuff too, but that is the only ingredient I’m calling non-negotiable. One of the things to think about before you begin is appearance. If you mix red ingredients and green, you end up with brown salsa; not that there’s anything wrong with that, but if you are big on appearances, either pick one or the other, or keep the chunks big. I’ll put up a list of things I’ve found to be good salsa ingredients. Pick and choose what you like or have on hand. I’d recommend at least one item from each section:
- Habanero. Great flavor, but deadly hot (orange).
- Fresno peppers: Excellent and quite hot (red).
- Jalepeno: Boring, but easily available, hot (green).
- Poblano and Anaheim: Mild, and they taste pretty green (green).
- Bell Peppers: Mild, but they make a decent base for those who can’t handle any heat.
- Tomatoes: Highly recommended, any variety will do.
- Tomatillos: Those little green paper lantern looking things.
- Mild Peppers.
Herb and Spice:
- Black Pepper
Preparation: In a pinch, you can just cut things up by hand or use a blender, but I prefer to use either my magic bullet or an auger style juicer. The magic bullet stops everything from just bouncing up and dwn above the blender blades, and I run the juicer with the sorbet attachment that is standard on such machines. It essentially just crushes all of the ingredients rather than chopping them, and I use the mesh catch to separate the excess liquid from the salsa as I make it. I save this liquid for other cooking. It makes a great addition to taco meat while it cooks, or for soup stock.
This is one of the easiest foods ever to make, just guess how much of everything you need, throw it in a blender-like appliance, blend to desired consistency, taste it, and make any adjustments. I recommend you make it too hot to eat. You aren’t likely to just eat it plain, so it will be toned down by the food, sour cream, etc. If you use cumin, it’s best if you toast it up a bit first; it makes it taste less green. Go light on vinegar if you use it, it doesn’t take much. If you want to go the extra mile, roast or smoke the peppers.