Monday, April 16, 2012

Coco's Salsa

My friend Coco makes the BEST salsa. Whenever there is a Godinez family gathering, everyone asks Coco to make salsa. She taught me how to make it several years ago--she said the secret is to roast the tomatoes and chiles--she does it in a foil-lined cast iron skillet on the stove until blackened, blends them together, then adds the chopped green onions and cilantro right before serving.

 When I was making salsa for a party the other day, I had the idea to do the roasting under the broiler to save time--I only have an 8 inch skillet--with great results.  This way the roasting was done in less than half the time!

Coco's Salsa

Ingredients:

2 lbs. fresh tomatoes
2 to 3 jalapeño peppers
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 small lemon
salt and pepper to taste

my optional ingredients:

1 large sweet onion
about 10 cloves mashed roasted garlic or 1 clove raw, minced
juice of 2 to 3 small limes
 diced avocados
roasted fresh corn, kernels cut from the cob--or frozen or canned corn

Put the tomatoes,  jalapeno peppers, sliced onion and cloves of garlic (if you are using them) in a roasting pan or cookie sheet with sides--so the juice from the tomatoes won't spill all over your oven. You can put the tomatoes in whole--when Coco roasts them in the skillet, they're whole tomatoes. I lightly drizzled some olive oil on the onion slices, jalapenos and garlic, then brushed them to evenly distribute the oil.

As you can see, I've added a lot of optional ingredients to this salsa.

Put the oven on broil at 500 ºF and set the rack to the highest setting. Roast for 5 minutes or until browned.

After 5 minutes in the broiler, the chiles & garlic were browned, but the onions and tomatoes could have gone a couple of minutes longer.

Turn the vegetables over and broil the other sides. You can leave them in a little longer than this for more flavor. Coco's salsa has more of the charred bits in it than mine.

 You can put the anemic ones in a little longer until they get some color.

Put the vegetables into a blender vessel.

I'm using a high-speed Vita Mix blender, pulse it so the vegetables are still a little chunky--it will take less than a minute.

 Pour into a large bowl. The salsa will get redder after the mixture settles for several minutes. Sometimes I might add a little tomato sauce to enhance the color--but you won't need it if you use really ripe tomatoes.

Juice 1 small lemon (and 2 to 3 small limes, optional) and add to the mixture.

Thinly slice 1 bunch of green onions and 1 bunch of cilantro and add them to the bowl before serving. Salt and pepper to taste.

I had been making salsa in the blender for years but never could get the taste quite right.  I'm so thankful for Coco sharing her technique, now it comes out good every time!

Knowing how to make good salsa is important around our house.

I think it's fun to add some diced avocados, roasted corn kernels, diced jalapenos (for those that like more heat), lime wedges and maybe some black beans on the side--makes for a festive dip. Serve with your favorite chips or veggies. Coco says the home-style chips from the Mexican market are the best.

Itadakimasu!



***

Meet my friend Coco.

Coco always looks great--stylishly and neatly dressed, perfect make-up, the right accessories, and I love her hair. It's naturally curly, but she likes to wear it straight. I wish I had her hair--I love curly hair.

 I think the photo above might be my favorite picture of her--I think it captures her essence.

Here she is with her daughter Natalie.

 And this is Coco's husband, Chuck. He's a sweetheart.

That's Chuck Jr. on the right. The whole family is a lot of fun. The Chucks love fishing and the girls love shopping. They all love animals--I especially love their two Labrador retrievers.

Thank you, Coco, for being a great friend--and for teaching me how to make salsa!


***


Coco's Salsa


Makes about 6 cups
 
Ingredients:

2 lbs. fresh tomatoes
2 to 3 jalapeño peppers
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 small lemon
salt and pepper to taste



my optional ingredients:

juice of 2 to 3 small limes

1 large sweet onion
about 10 cloves mashed roasted garlic or 1 clove raw, minced
 diced avocados
roasted fresh corn, kernels cut from the cob--or frozen or canned corn



Roast the tomatoes,  jalapeños, (optional onion slices, and garlic if you are using them) in the broiler at 500 degrees for 5 minutes on each side or until browned. The vegetables can also be roasted on the stove in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.

Put the roasted vegetables into a blender or food processor and pulse until mixture is blended but still coarse, about 30 seconds or so, for a high-speed blender. Transfer to a large bowl.

Add the juice of 1 small lemon, thinly sliced green onions and chopped cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Add optional ingredients if desired. Serve with Mexican home-style chips, your favorite chips or veggies.

4 comments:

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    1. Thanks Karolyn for showing us how you made your delicious salsa! It's the best!

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  2. Looks incredible! Makes me excited for tomato season!

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